IT blocks social media on guest Wi-Fi

Internet users look for alternate methods to connect


Josh Halper

Freshmen Jamie Sorenson, Jackson Aune, Bryan Okere and Ashton Williams use their cell phones during lunch. All four students are frustrated that they are not able to access some social media sites on the school Wi-Fi.

Mimi Fhima and Hannah Wolk

Freshman Patrick Djerf said he felt frustrated when he realized he couldn’t access social media through the school’s guest Wi-Fi.

Djerf said the slow connection causes problems when trying to communicate with school clubs over Facebook.

“I was also trying to go on Facebook to check the Student Council Facebook group, but I couldn’t access it,” Djerf said. “If we can’t communicate then we can’t get anything done.”

Information services director Tom Marble said the school’s Information and Technology department suppresses applications and services that are an unnecessary use of the bandwidth.

“We monitor our internet traffic continually and when we see issues of unnecessary or non-educational use, we make adjustments to alleviate this traffic,” Marble said.

Marble confirmed some social media sites are blocked on the guest Wi-Fi.

Marble said Virtual Private Network (VPN) clients, which redirect the Wi-Fi blockage and allow social media apps to work, are against district policy. Marble said students who utilize such clients will be referred to administration to determine discipline.

“When it comes to VPN clients that allow a device to circumvent protections in place on our networks, the use of such clients are in violation of our district’s Acceptable Use Policy,” Marble said.

Sophomore Yousef Elbassal said it is good that the school can discipline students who use VPN clients.

“It’s good because if they are blocking (social media apps) so they can get better Wi-Fi and get people to pay attention in class more and then people try to use the VPN to unblock it. It is just ruining the point that the school’s trying to make,” Elbassal said.