Students Voice Concern About Late Night WiFi Access

Northwood students are frustrated that the school’s student WiFi network shuts down at 10:30 pm from Sunday to Thursday every week after study hall.


Students Voice Concern About Late Night WiFi Access (Photo: Kevin Quinn ’19)

Seniors Chelsea Smith and Sarah Coombs, who are members of the Headmaster’s Council, recently proposed to fix this WiFi issue. “The proposal outlines three key reasons why the student WiFi should stay on: to complete school work, to contact family in different time zones, especially for international students, and to gain more independence,” said Smith. “Our goal is to keep the WiFi on until midnight,” added Coombs.

However, some students think that late night WiFi access will have negative impacts on the academic lives of students. Rintaro Akasaka ‘20 said, “I think that a lot of people want the WiFi on at night to play games [rather than to do homework]. These people need to learn to be more responsible. If they are late on assignments or are not getting enough sleep because of gaming, they should be held accountable for their actions.”

On the other hand, many boarding students support the idea of having WiFi on at night. Grey Pfefferkorn ‘19 said, “I have times when I work on my homework or college essay after 10:30. In these cases, I have to use my personal hotspot on my phone to complete work.” He added, “I understand that the school is worried that the kids might play video games all night, but I don’t think that all students should suffer from that,” he said.

Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Laura Finnerty Paul has a conservative opinion on the matter. Dr. LFP commented, “The younger students with full-on freedom, I don’t think they could handle it, yet. It’s a legacy policy. I don’t know who developed it, but it’s been in place for a long time. The intention behind it is to get students to go to sleep. Students have found a way around it [by using multiple personal hotspots]. I don’t know how the school could realistically manage access for older students only. I would be open to it becoming one of the privileges for students who are performing well academically or working diligently.”

Update (October 29, 2018): six days after the publication of this article, Mr. Broderick announced at school meeting that student WiFi will remain on until midnight. He said the change is temporary and will be reversed if students are found to use the extra WiFi time irresponsibly. 



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