Many students living on campus were peeved to see the Super Bowl cut out more than once last weekend. What was especially frustrating for these viewers was that this has been an ongoing problem since the campus television service transitioned to digital last fall. After more than a semester, it does not seem unreasonable to expect the bugs to be fixed by now.
On the other hand, the university response has been arguably positive, if not as fast as students might like. The Student Affairs website has a comprehensive “cable television” page, with a channel guide, troubleshooting help, and instructions for setting up your TV. The page also includes a live “problems and updates” feed, tracking issues as they appear and are resolved. This is an excellent resource for students dealing with campus television woes.
Students who encounter problems with the television service can also contact Student Affairs Information Technology (IT). Students who have gone this route have reported satisfactory but slow service, likely because IT has been swamped with the high volume of requests. It is unclear exactly how IT is structured, but it might consider designating a single person or team to address television issues; this might make the process run more smoothly.
The recent television difficulties are understandably frustrating, especially when they occur during the big game or the last few minutes of your favorite show. But it is equally frustrating to hear CWRU students complaining as much as they do about first-world problems such as this one. For one thing, many students complain about the television problems without even seeking help. Some students complain about lack of communication from Student Affairs, even though information is continually updated on the website, and often disbursed via email to on-campus residents. Some have even questioned the reasons behind the digital transition in the first place, arguing that a few new HD channels are not worth all of the recent problems.
The truth is, these students are not well-informed, and by no fault of the university. The CWRU student population is plagued by an unfortunate apathy – there is no lack of information being distributed, both in print and online, yet many students neglect to take advantage of this information. Then they complain about lack of communication on the university’s part.
CWRU’s transition to digital is a positive thing. We should be proud of our university’s commitment to progress, and we generally are – we just want the progress to happen without the occasional static interruptions in our weekly sitcom. But we need to accept that a few problems are unavoidable. Student Affairs seems to be doing their best to respond to these problems, and perhaps that is all we can ask for.
It is clear that help is available and by no means inaccessible. Kinks in the digital transition were inevitable; we can only hope that the university remains in close communication with students as these kinks continue to be worked out. Until then, students may want to consider spending their free time on other pursuits.