The core mission of Rend Lake College is to provide instruction and support for our students. Whenever something negatively impacts our ability to do that, we deal with it as quickly as we can. This was the case with the recent decision to temporarily block access to MySpace.
This was not a case of censorship, of the administration not understanding MySpace or not liking the content on MySpace. RLC understands the attraction to MySpace from students and that MySpace and technologies like it are tightly woven into the fabric of student's lives. The site was blocked because the heavy traffic to it from the RLC network impedes our ability to conduct normal day-to-day business and provide instruction and support to our students.
Recent traffic studies have shown that MySpace accounts for nearly 20% of all network traffic in and out of the RLC network. This level of usage has an adverse impact on all network-based services including BlackBoard, Distance Learning, RLC Phone Systems, Network-Based Software, online reference materials and libraries, web-based email (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc) and other web sites that students may be trying to access for research or homework purposes.
Information Technology is currently evaluating technologies that will allow access to sites such as MySpace without negatively impacting the rest of the network. We are also planning for the addition of bandwidth that will more evenly distribute network traffic in and out of the RLC network. We expect evaluation and deployment to last for the next few months with final deployment at the start of the Spring semester.
During this time, MySpace will be available on an intermittent basis. If it begins to negatively impact traffic in a meaningful way it will be the first site blocked to alleviate the traffic congestion.
We appreciate your patience as we deal with this issue. Rest assured, we know how you feel and are making every effort to meet the need while we balance that with our core mission as an academic institution.