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November 03, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-03

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6A - Monday, November 3, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Monday, November 3,2014 N CW S The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Demands on MWireless
see 'U' upgrading Wi-Fi

Business senior Amber Blanks and LSA senior Canon Thomas celebrate their crowning as Ms. Maize and Mr. Blue at
Black Homecoming Saturday.
Black Homecoming honors
student leadership, impact

15th annual event
assumes 'Harlem
Renaissance' theme
By PARISHA NOVA
For the Daily
Inside the Michigan Union's
Rogel Ballroom, participants in
the annual Mr. Blue contest were
asked a series of questions.
"If you could tell yourself
something at any age, what
would you tell yourself?" one
organizer asked.
"I would go to a time when
'I was younger and tell myself
about trying, attempting and
being courageous, never having
fear, never having regrets, about
living my dreams to the fullest,"
LSA senior Canon Thomas said.
"Because when I put forward my
passion and mytenacity I will be
successful."
Thomas would go on to win
Mr. Blue, which is awarded to one
student who is making a positive
difference in their community.
Mr. Blue is just one part of the
celebrations associated with the

annual Black Homecoming, held
Saturday evening. Organized by
the student groups H.E.A.D.S.
- Here Earning a Destiny
through Honesty, Eagerness,
and Determination of Self - and
Sister 2 Sister, "Resurgence:
The Harlem Renaissance" was
the theme celebrating the 15th
annual semi-formal event, which.
also included an official after-
party that nightin the Biomedical
Science Research Building.
Kinesiology senior Fitz
Tavernier, H.E.A.D.S. chairman
and president, wrote in an e-mail
interview that the event's theme
was meant to highlight African
American art, music and dance
during the 1920s.
"It represented a time period
that fosters black pride and
uplifting of race through the use
of intellect," he wrote.
Tavernier also wrote that the
crowning of Mr. Blue and Ms.
Maize at Black Homecoming, an
honor historically bestowed on
two members of the senior class,
was meant to highlight students
who "made strides to enhance
the school community, bring
about social awareness, while

also achieving high academic
success."
Participants in the
competition went through an
elaborate application process,
which included writing several
essays. Throughout the event,
votes were taken and the winners
of the titles were announced
toward the end of the event.
Business senior Amber
Blanks, who won this year's Ms.
Maize title, said the contest is
about being a leader who can
make a positive impact in the
community. It is also about
being recognized by peers
in the community for one's
contributions.
In addition to celebrating the
achievements and contributions
of current students with the
Mr. Blue and Ms. Maize titles,
organizers aimed for Saturday's
event to increase the depth and
breadth of student involvement
in creating positive changes
across campus and the greater
community.
Read the rest of this article
online at MichiganDaily.com

Current $3.6 million
project phase to
be completed by
Summer 2015
By MAYA KALMAN
Daily StaffReporter
This past weekend marked
a significant milestone in the
ongoing Campus Wi-Fi Upgrade
Project. As of Saturday at 3 p.m.,
all Wi-Fi access points in 19 pub-
lic buildings were transferred
over to an updated system in
order to improve the experience
of those using wireless networks
on campus.'
In recent years, students, fac-
ulty and staff have experienced
slow Internet connections while
using MWireless, the primary
wireless network on campus, due
to both increased traffic on the
networks and increased usage of
technologies that take up a large
amount of the Wi-Fi bandwidth.
Wi-Fi, which uses unlicensed
spectrum, can be used by anyone
with an enabled device, causing
high traffic volumes in the small
bits of bandwidth allocated to
Wi-Fi. Andrew Palms, executive
director of the University's Com-
munications Systems and Data
Centers, compared heavy traffic
to having multiple people talk at
once.
"From a technical perspec-
tive, that's like four of us all talk-
ing at the same time," Palmssaid.
"All of a sudden it doesn't work
and you can't understand any-
one because we're all talking at
once. If you take all four of us
and you separate us out 100 feet
and then we start talking, some-
body could understand each of
us individually. That's a lot like
what unlicensed spectrum is. If
you have a lot of folks who are
implementing Wi-Fi and they're
all implementing it and talking
at the same time, it creates a bad
situation."
The core problemis that Wi-Fi
can only run on three small bits
of spectrum, which are now
becoming overcrowded.
"It's like oceanfront proper-
ty," Palms said. "There's only so
much of it."
The increased use of wireless
devices on campus over a short
period of time is a major driver of
the problem. From January 2012

to January 2013, the number of
devices connecting to MWireless
has nearly doubled, according to
Patricia Giorgio, marketing com-
munication specialist senior at
the University's Information and
Technology Services.As aresult,
ITS has struggled to stay in front
of that growth.
"The wireless was fine and
suitable for the amount of devic-
es students, faculty and, staff
were bringing on campus at the
time it was built. But the prob-
lem is, we've all become more
of a digital population," Giorgio
said. "The more people that try
to connect to an access point, the
slower the traffic will move and
the performance of the wireless
becomes degraded."
This problem extends past the
University to large institutions
across the country.
The problem has been exacer-
bated by interruptions to the net-
work by other Wi-Fi networks
on campus. The use of personal
hotspots and wireless printers
that broadcast their own sig-
nals interferes heavily with the
MWireless enterprise network.
This effectexplains why the Uni-
versity requeststhat students not
set up their own access points in
their dorms.
Another contributor to the
problem is the change in how
devices are used. Specifically, the
increase in video streaming has
been a huge driver of the chal-
lenges.
"The biggest bandwidth hog,
so to speak, is streaming video,"
Giorgio said. "And, as you know,
students, faculty and staff are all
doing a lot more with streaming
video. So it's not only the num-
ber of devices, but it's the type of
devices."
Finally, the problems are
greatest in buildings with older
wiring and electronics, which
further slow the network.
In the face of these prob-
lems, which were identified by
students, University Provost
Martha Pollack and ITS have
developed the Campus Wi-Fi
Update Project. The project,
which began last year, aims to
increase the quality of the wire-
less network on campus by both
increasing the number of access
points in buildings and by raising
the spectrum at which the net-
work runs.
The priority placed on this
project was raised dramatically

directly in response to student
requests, Palms said. And other
facultymembers agreed.
"I hear from students it's
water, food and Wi-Fi - that's
what they want, maybe not
even in that order," said Susan
Pile, director of the Michigan
Union and the Center for Cam-
pus Involvement. "I think Wi-Fi
enables students to, certainly,
have an enhanced academic
experience, but from a student
life perspective, it's really part of
your Michigan experience."
Using the wireless network
has not been a seamless activity
previously. The goal of the proj-
ect was to improve the experi-
ence in heavily used campus
common spaces, Pile said.
The first phase of the proj-
ect, which took place last year,
involved upgrading libraries.
Due to the high wireless usage by
students in these buildings, the
University decided to upgrade
them first, costing approximately
$1.2 million.
The current phase of the proj-
ect, which will be completed
by summer 2015, began in the
Michigan Union, the Michigan
League and Pierpont Commons,
worth approximately $3.6 mil-
lion.
"I think that this will speak
volumes to students in terms of
the University making a move
of this nature to enhance their
experience, so it's great. We're
excited,"saidPierpontCommons
Director Michael Swanigan.
The first part, increasing
the number of access 'points,
involves installing more devices
that amplify the wireless signal,
much like wireless routers. These
devices have now been installed
in more places than ever before,
increasing the number of rooms
in which Wi-Fi is available in all
included buildings. In addition,
all of the existing access points
have been replaced with upgrad-
ed devices.
The number of access points
added to each room is deter-
mined by the number of people
who typically use that room and
the type of technology being
used in the space. For example,
large lecture halls require more
access points to allow for wire-
less use by many students simul-
taneouslv.

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EXL PLORINO CAREERS

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p Ofrllg Mfkeig i d Adve tsIng Caeer ┬░product design for disabled
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Location: The Career Center
[iplodinglover men tCareers
November 11th at 1:00 p.m.
Virtual Panel- RSVP on the Career Center Connecter
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November 13,12014 at 6:30 p.m.
Locaflon: The Career Center

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ent emphasizes to think innovatively. Partici-
pants also discussed how design
d for innovative geared toward the disabled has
the potential to benefit everyone.
technology During the clinic's discussion,
a conversion service translated
every spoken word into text. This
ENEVIEVE HUMMER text was projected onto a screen
Daily StaffReporter as the conversation took place.
"This is a good example of dis-
013, the University's Ser- ability as a cultural knowledge
sr Students with Disabili- producer because even if no one
d almost five percent of around this table would identify
udent population identi- as 'needing' that, I have needed
disabled. And despite the it multiple times today to catch a
students registered with reference that someone had said
Associate Architecture that I didn't g'et the first time,"
obert Adams said disabil- Rackharp student Joshua Kupetz
ill a taboo topic. said. -1
Design Meets Disability Adams, who helped coordi-
sponsored by the Taub- nate the event, said personal
ollege of Architecture and experience sparked his interest
Planning and the English in the relationship between dis-
ment highlighted the ability and design. Ten years
r more inclusive technol- ago, his daughter was diagnosed
d product design for peo- with muscular dystrophy, a con-
h disabilities. dition he also has, but in a mild-
important that the con- er form.
on takes place in the uni- Struggling with this diagno-
. an environment that sis, Adams was inspired to think
ows one to explore things of disability as a creative prac-
e maybe unpopular, not in tice. -
not always on other tables "It changed everything, and it
should be," Adams said. got me excited about the work I
two-day clinic gave stu- could do as a result of thinking
nd faculty the opportu- through that," he said.
discuss these needs and Pullin added that disability-
d a lecture from Graham sensitive design could improve
the course director of existing design practices.
Interaction Design at the "Discourse within disabil-
sity of Dundee in Scotland ity can actually radically disrupt
thor of the book "Design notions of what design is as well,
Disability." not in a sanctimonious way but in
symposium emphasized a creative, expanding way," Pul-
alternative methods of lin said.
should not be seen as a Adams' interest in disabili-
but as a way for designers ty-sensitive design is reflected

throughout Taubman College.
Two years ago, a new program
was created that allows students
pursuing a Master of Science in
Architecture to choose a con-
centration in Design and Health.
The unique interdisciplinary
program allows students to con-
sider medicine, psychology and
the humanities alongside design.
Taubman graduate student
Xuan Fei, who is concentratingin
Design and Health, is working to
design a space for children with
disabilities that is both accessible
and enjoyable. Fei said her goal is
for these children to be integrat-
ed with their peers rather than
be made to feel different.
Education graduate student
Jason DeCamillis, who is legally
blind, reiterated Fei's concerns
about spaces that segregate the
disabled.
"I'm interested more in the
similarities between people,
not the differences," DeCamil-
lis said. "For me, it's that these
notions of difference and ability
and disability are all created and
perpetuated in schools."
Adams noted that the Univer-
sity is not always conducive to
those living with disabilities.
In particular, Adams criti-
cized the narrow doorways in
many campus buildings that
are difficult to pass through for
those in wheelchairs, and the
poor placement of elevators in
far-flung areas of campus build-
ings.
"I think our campus is littered
with all these instances of soft
discrimination, it seems, against
people with disabilities," Adams
said.

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