IT troubles and WiFi woes

IT's fight for a user friendly Ferris

The information technology department presented their plans for a new Ferris portal and a Wi-Fi update at last week’s Student Government Association meeting.

Chief Information Officer Charlie Weaver offered the SGA an update on Pathify, the new online portal, after participating students voted to replace MyFSU in late 2022.

“[Pathify] is so much nicer looking,” Weaver said. “It’s clean, it’s organized, it’s familiar, but different… I think it’s gonna be very easy to use, and it’s geared towards the experience of our students and our staff and faculty.”

With personalized widgets based on criteria such as year and major, the self proclaimed “modern student portal” will present a slightly different dashboard to each user. These widgets could include a summative Canvas window displaying important class information, a schedule, financial balances, Office365 productivity and even a social media window. A full demonstration of what Ferris’ Pathify portal could look like can be accessed through the MyFSU Replacement Recordings & Survey email sent on Dec. 8, 2022.

The project to replace MyFSU comes after months of dissatisfaction with the platform. Three days after the SGA meeting, the platform was down for roughly eight hours, leaving the campus community unable to clock in to on-campus jobs or access assignments, e-bills and calendars.

Weaver briefly touched on the Wi-Fi issues occurring around campus during the meeting. Pre-medicine biology senior Shamar Shqair, an SGA general assembly member, was not satisfied with the answers Weaver had. Shqair explained that she has had issues with the Wi-Fi since she got here and believes that IT’s shift in focus to a new portal has them going in the wrong direction.

“I don’t think that we should be worried about a [new portal] for campus if MyFSU is working okay,” Shqair said. “Right now, we should be worried about how kids are going to access MyFSU. Because if kids can’t access any of that, then what does it matter?… I think the Wi-Fi is the biggest issue, but it seems that there are other priorities to the college right now, or at least to the IT center.”

Shqair believes that the desktop computers in the Science Building run unbearably slowly, taking “up to 13 minutes” to log in. Weaver explained that he intends to have someone look at the computers and determine if they are connected to the Wi-Fi to find the source of the problem. However, there are limitations to what IT can do.

“There could be a lot of things, but I want to check these things out, and I want to see if we can do anything about it,” Weaver said. “And it may be that the machines are really old, and I can’t do that. I don’t have the budget to do everything.”

Weaver explained how delivery issues are impeding IT’s progress with the Wi-Fi. Once their equipment arrives, Weaver and the IT department have a plan to take action.

“When [the equipment] comes in, we’re going to deploy it in a way that we can make the changes to the wireless first without having to do everything else,” Weaver said.

Weaver hopes that the transition will take place sometime during the summer. Weaver maintains that students taking summer classes should not be inconvenienced by the switch.

“We can have both [portals] running at the same time,” Weaver said. “It should not impact the student’s ability to do their work.”

Weaver plans to bring more updates about Pathify to the SGA in April and to send out tutorials when Pathify is fully launched. He hopes to receive the materials to start working on the Wi-Fi issues soon.