By Victoria Hosey
The first day of the fall semester at the University of Mississippi got off to a glitchy start for some. The virtual meeting platform Zoom experienced widespread technical issues across the world and in Oxford as many Ole Miss students attempted to login for their first day of online classes.
Users across the United States and Europe experienced glitches with the system according to website DownDetector, which monitors self-reported platform outages. Over 17,000 users across the world reported issues logging in, connecting to the server and generally using the site by 9:00 AM Monday.
Jack Lawton, network manager for the School of Journalism and New Media, confirmed that professors and instructors within the journalism school had experienced issues with Zoom on Monday morning.
“It should have been nearly everyone at the 9:00 lecture hour,” Lawton said.
Professor John Terenzio from the School of Journalism and New Media said that while he experienced issues with the system momentarily, he still managed to hold his first class of the semester.
“Some quick emails asking the class to hold on and some copying and pasting got us started only a few minutes late,” Terenzio said. “The class was not only patient, but really pumped to begin a new year at Ole Miss.”
Some members of the UM community were less enthused, taking to social media to vent their frustrations at experiencing tech issues so soon in what many expect to be a difficult semester.
“Well, I think my first lecture as an Assistant Professor in the middle of a global pandemic went about as expected,” Dr. Hannah K. Allen, an associate professor for the UM School of Applied Sciences, said in a tweet. “Nothing like a national @zoom_us outage to really spice things up.”
Well, I think my first lecture as an Assistant Professor in the middle of a global pandemic went about as expected. Nothing like a national @zoom_us outage to really spice things up. #AcademicTwitter pic.twitter.com/HhpefHyYiu
— Hannah K. Allen, PhD (@hannahallenphd) August 24, 2020
Ole Miss students also chimed in on the outages via Twitter.
not zoom being down on the first day of class 🤡
— amirah 🧝🏽♀️ (@AmirahLockhart) August 24, 2020
zoom was down and oxford’s power keeps going out…..happy first day of classes
— calvin rosebud (@Calvinn_Rosebud) August 24, 2020
The platform acknowledged issues that users faced Monday morning on their website, and said they managed to fix the problems by late morning. By Monday afternoon, reported outages dropped from close to 17,000 to less than 3,000 reports.