Wi-Fi access available at campus computer lab, parking lots


Mitchell Allred

Classes at NMSU will continue online for the remainder of the semester in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the state. *Image and caption written March 16 2020*

With COVID-19 plaguing the nations and restrictions being placed, New Mexico State University has moved classes and all possible workers online and have worked to ensure that work is still able to be done.

NMSU Chief Information Officer Norma Grijalva explained that thanks to the university installing Aggie Air Wi-Fi in 1997 students are able to access the internet in various areas around campus. In an effort to offer more opportunities for students to stay on top of their work, the university’s ICT department has kept the Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center computer lab open.

“Our priority in response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been to ensure the safety of our employees and while ensuring access to students to continue their learning online,” Grijalva said. “ICT has kept two computer labs open to help our students still living on campus. But the situation continues to change.”

The change Grijalva refers to is the closure of one of the two computer labs the university had planned to keep open. On April 4 a notice was sent to South Campus residents explaining the closer of the Aggie Express building due to vandalism in the 24-hour computer lab.

Cervantes Village resident Dennis Carreon said he was irritated by the vandalism that led to the closure.

“It sucks,” Carreon said. “Some people can’t go home like others have and in some cases the lab at VDM [Vista Del Monte]was the only way they could get stuff done. Just because the university is technically closed and people are supposed to stay home doesn’t give other people the right to do this kind of [thing].”

With the HJLC computer lab being the only lab open at the moment, Grijalva assured that ICT is working with the health and safety of the students in mind by following guidelines given to the state.

“No more than five students are allowed in the lab at any one time to comply with the governor’s orders,” Grijalva said. “The labs are monitored. After a student leaves, the area they occupied is wiped down. Before a student uses the station, they are also encouraged to clean. Facilities and Services is also cleaning and disinfecting daily.”

While the university continues to limit the number of people allowed in the computer lab, students are also offered the opportunity to do their work in their cars in parking lots 19, near Garcia Hall, and 57, near the Telecommunications and Networking Services building. According to Grijalva, these two parking lots have been identified as work from car areas as they are large enough to accommodate a number of vehicles.

NMSU Media Relations Officer Minerva Baumann has offered another alternative for people to be able to get their work done, explaining that most of the 33 county extension offices across the state have Wi-Fi that can be used outside the building.

“Our Extension folks worked to make some technology changes so the students could have Internet access,” Baumann said. “The access to Wi-Fi at the county Extension offices is not limited to College of ACES students. It’s open to the community.”  

More information on resources is available on the NMSU Student Technology website.

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