Grenfell Campus Students Blast University’s Terrible Internet

grenfell campus memorial university

Students at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus in Newfoundland, represented by their student union, are calling for a refund on the $100 fee charged for on-campus services, especially its internet.

“Wi-Fi has been down on campus since the start of the winter semester,” said Vicky Quao, the union’s vice-president, noting how Wi-Fi has been unreliable or non-existent.

The root cause of these internet issues is a cyberattack on the campus network in December, which led to a long disruption of online services. The Grenfell Campus was victim of ransomeware, locking out access to data.

As a result, students have had to get internet access off-campus, heading to coffee shops and tethering data from their cellphone plans. For students that need internet for school and communication with families, this is an expensive fix to a problem that is the university’s fault.

“International students had to go around town trying to connect to the internet so they could reach their families. I had a girl tell me how her mom was freaking out because she hadn’t heard from her,” said Quao.

“Currently, only one computer on campus has access to a printer,” added Quao to CBC News. The university tried to offer temporary internet through cellular hotspots, but even that has been inadequate.

“We paid money in order to get these services. So if we’re not getting the services, the only right thing to do is to give us our money back,” argued the student union’s vice president.

The Grenfell Campus vice president, Ian Sutherland, said despite the cyber attack, most issues have been fixed. “Things feel much more normal than they did about eight weeks ago,” said Sutherland, who said he met with the students’ union last week. No final outcome was decided upon.

With students relying on Wi-Fi to take notes, access email, watching lecture videos or doing research for labs, having no access at school is a big deal. Hopefully the university makes things right for students.

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