It will come as no surprise to those who follow the woeful state of our Internet technology services at Williams to learn that a hacker broke into the system in September and completely escaped notice up until now. The consequence is a large percentage of the campus has had their passwords compromised and are having serious trouble accessing the Williams network and most importantly e-mail.

The Record had an excellent article last week on the sorry state of IT at Williams, including this gem of a quote from a “professor in Division II”:

“After the Dec. 11 crash, I spoke with colleagues at several rival institutions, asking them if their schools’ networks broke down often. All were surprised by the question because they expect, and get, dependable Internet access at their institutions. All wondered how a college experiencing recurring problems with what is now an essential intellectual tool got ranked as the best in the nation.”

Words truly escape me whenever I try to describe how miserable the technology situation is at Williams. It’s gotten to the point where you just simply expect to not be able to check e-mail at various points throughout the day, expect that the Internet may inexplicably cut out, or that the Internet will just be painfully slow. I work off a 56.6 dial-up modem at home and sometimes feel that it is less of a nuisance.

The question for the College is whether anything is going to be done about it. Senior staff at the College seems to think that the Office of Internet Technology does a fantastic job. That is, frankly, not true.

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