Tuesday night system outage didn’t go unnoticed by WSU students


File Photo

Students use computers in Ablah library.

Wichita State systems experienced its first outage Tuesday night as online classes got into full swing.

The outage prevented users from accessing the university website, their WSU email, Blackboard, and virtual private network (VPN) between 8:30 and 11:30 p.m., according to a university release Wednesday morning. 

“Ultimately, the network experienced a glitch where the data moving across the network wasn’t being recognized correctly,” Interim Chief Information Officer David Miller said in an email to The Sunflower. 

The glitch didn’t go unnoticed by students. Freshman management information systems student Hannah Harpel was trying to submit two assignments that were due the night of the outage.

“At first, I thought it was the WiFi, so I switched to my phone’s hotspot and it still didn’t work,” Harpel said in a message to The Sunflower. “Then, I thought it was just my computer, so I asked both my sister and boyfriend if theirs was working, and they said theirs weren’t working either.”

After more trial and error, Harpel was able to submit one of her assignments via the Blackboard app on her phone. She was unable to submit the other assignment.

“Using my phone to finish that assignment was very frustrating, though, because the screen didn’t show the whole page and it was lagging a lot,” Harpel said.

She emailed her professor, who ended up having to extend the deadline due to the outage. 

Miller said he doesn’t expect this same glitch to happen again — but that IT and service disruptions will still occur.

“The goal is always to mitigate those interruptions to the greatest degree feasible,” he said.

Harpel said she expects there to be more outages — especially on Blackboard.

“(S)ince we’re all on online classes, it’s possible that this problem of Blackboard being down will happen more frequently than before since more people will be using the site at once,” she said.