Study Spaces and Starbucks’ Proxy Server Issue

Students express concern over server trouble


With midterms rapidly approaching, it is appropriate to experience a little pang of nerves with the preparation and overall execution. When students break out their notes to study for tests, but even more prominently during midterms, they may have a certain ritual to follow that allows them to achieve complete and utter focus. Perhaps it is something simple like lighting a soothing candle or something a little more dramatic like throwing a distraction such as a phone across the room. Whatever works for you, boo. Even with these minor changes, students may find it more beneficial to leave the comfort of their home to maximize the efficiency of their studying session. Although a majority of students (64.7% of poll takers) prefer to relocate to a different location, multiple submitted that home is still where the heart is. Nicholas Stallone wrote that he prefers to stay home because every resource he may need to do his homework and study for tests are in his general proximity. I get where he is coming from though; staying at home also means unlimited snacks and refreshments.

On the other hand, students at Park Ridge High School have secondary locations they believe will be the most beneficial place for them to study; the place where they can be the most attentive and productive. Rudy Ramirez, Desera Carr, and Rebecca Tallman all prefer the quiet nature of the town library. With no distractions, it provides a healthy environment to work attentively.

Aside from the stacks at the library, there was a huge wave of one identical answer; Starbucks. Being residents of New Jersey, we are surrounded by more Starbucks than necessary. We are still appreciative, though. Grace Madden enjoys the “chill vibes and good drinks” that the establishment has to offer. Me personally, I am able to completely zone out in my secluded nook at the back of the Starbucks on Kinderkamack. I do not get distracted by the flurry of constant customers and I am lucky to have an enjoyable beverage by my side. Nonetheless, there is one downfall about the Starbucks on Kinderkamack and it has to do with our valuable MacBook Airs; the proxy server almost never works and it is impossible to access the internet.













It is unbelievable that 76.5% of students polled have issues with their proxy servers and it is extremely disheartening to see students from other schools and random adults have complete access to the internet. Park Ridge students, on the other hand, are forced to find a new solution. Julia Manning and Megan McCusker reluctantly use their iPhone’s personal hotspots which requires excessive amounts of data. That should not have to be an option, as the computers should connect efficiently to the full, free Wi-Fi bars that Starbucks offers. 67.6% of my poll takers say they would dedicate more time to studying and working on their school work outside of their homes if the proxy server was always functioning. This is a critical statistic, as it suggests that a majority of students desire a comfortable place outside their home to work on assignments or study. We are, however, unable to achieve the serenity we seek. Instead, we experience frustration and inconvenience. Grace Madden wrote about how it gets to the point where she literally gives up, as she gets so annoyed with the inconsistencies of the servers. Even outside of Starbucks, poll takers wrote specifically that their proxy server randomly stops working in the comfort of their own homes during the midnight to early A.M. hour time span. How are students supposed to be efficient and meet deadlines if the school laptops are inadequately functioning?  Senior, Katarina Rockfol, wrote that she ends up doing poorly on her assignments since there is no way to access her resources without her school laptop. Junior, Shannon Burns, adds that she unenthusiastically turns off her laptop and goes to bed feeling defeated. I spoke to Dr. Bernardo about this occurrence and he said that as of Saturday (January 19th), the tech department changed the server’s restarting period from around 2am to 4am, as student laptop activity showed that 4am is when students are least active. Hopefully, this part of the issue subsides, but if issues continue, make sure to report it.

It is unbelievable that 76.5% of students polled have issues with their proxy servers”

Since the malfunctioning server is such a persistent issue, I interviewed PRHS senior and local Starbucks barista, Nick Lister, to get his opinion. Although Nick can be found preparing drinks on numerous occasions, he says he also spends at least three days a week diligently doing his homework and completing big projects at Starbucks. So, I decided to ask him about his internet issues in his own work place as he provides an interesting perspective. Lister said that, “the proxy server hasn’t worked at all over the past couple of months.” Unfortunately, there is nothing he can do personally to fix it no matter how many PRHS students inquire about it and no matter how hard has tried to find a solution. “Students complain about the proxy server and how it prevents them from connecting to the Starbucks Wi-Fi. I tell them it is something they will have to take up with the tech department.” It is understandable that Nick, Park Ridge students, and I are hoping for a change in the reliability of the server considering that we all spend hours a day trying to complete schoolwork for our classes.

While speaking with Dr. Bernardo, he told me that there were only two instances of someone bringing up Starbucks’s server issues. I am not exaggerating when I say both of them were me. He wants to make it known that if you are experiencing tech issues, it is important to address it and make the tech department aware. Additionally, Dr. Bernardo expressed frustration about the server not working at Starbucks, especially since there is such an abundance of students being affected; he was unaware about the large quantity until we reviewed the poll results.

I also received input from Mr. Prihoda from the tech department on ways to fix the server in the near future. He responded with an analogy saying, “it’s like standing next to a car that isn’t running and trying to figure out why…Spark? Compression?” After explaining the intricate world of networking to me, he said how it is almost impossible to locate the origin of the issue. It remains unknown to him whether the problem with the server comes from our laptops or the issue is on Starbucks’ end. The tech department did assure me that they would look into the issue.

Justifiably, all study spaces for students should be provided with a proficient proxy server, regardless of location or time. With the rampant issues at Starbucks and beyond, it is imperative that a solution is found to benefit of the students; especially with midterms right around the corner.

NightWatch Newspaper will continue to follow up on this topic with any developing story or update. We are interested to hear your input about server issues as well. If you experience trouble, make sure you relay the information to the tech department, or share your story with us below.