Emails are back, but significant network outages remain

At 4 p.m. today, Southeastern posted an update on Facebook and its emergency alert system about the still-ongoing campus-wide network outage. It appears emails have become operational again as of Monday night, but Moodle and other systems needed for online classwork remain inoperable.

SLU’s WiFi, website and LEONet are still unusable, as noted earlier today via the university’s official message. This announcement was made available before campus email came back online. The shutdown was due to a potential incident within the network, according to the university.

The notice further stated, “The University is working to restore systems to normal operations as quickly and safely as possible. We also reported the incident to the Louisiana State Police, which is conducting an investigation into this matter.” 

It ends with two more paragraphs asking for patience from students as the issue continues to be resolved. Students will be prompted to change their passwords the first time they log back into the system once network service is restored. 

While campus email being back up and running again does appear to be a positive sign, the update did not offer any timeline for how long the outage of all systems will last and said more updates will be posted once additional information is available.

Many commented on the official Facebook post, sharing the same concerns students had prior to the update. Numerous people were anxious about how this would affect online classes, since neither students nor faculty have had email access until Monday night. 

Along with these worries, there are frustrations shared amongst students due to the WiFi being out; cellular data service has been hit and miss for those living on campus. 

Senior criminal justice major Maria Totorico described her concerns on this topic as both a student and resident assistant. 

“As a student, most of my classes are online, so this outage has completely blocked any communication on how I’m going to get my work done. Beyond that, my cell service has been completely out as well, leading to a huge barrier between me and my residents right now,” Totorico said.

These problems are of equal concern to faculty and staff, most of whom have been required to use their personal data and devices to complete daily work responsibilities.

Dr. James O’Connor added the outage has caused significant issues in the Communication and Media Studies Department, as its master’s degree program is fully online. 

“We have students that are working remotely and that left them with no way of contacting us. We’ve had to reach out and we’re lucky we kept a record of people’s cell numbers. Other than that, they would just be sitting in the dark,” O’Connor explained. 

Since Moodle is currently down, many faculty are turning to alternative platforms, such as Google Spaces and Google Classrooms, to continue teaching and communicating with students.

While the official university update mentioned a potential “incident,” students have expressed concerns on multiple platforms such as YikYak, Instagram and GroupMe chats about the exact nature of the situation – especially considering state police are now involved.

A dorm hall’s whiteboard where a student has written “Defeat the Moodler” to bring a sense of humor to the theories students have been making. (Aaron Madison)

Many are worried about a potential data hack; while the source of the network interruption remains unknown, students are attributing it to an unknown assailant, which they have named “The Moodler.” Concerns about a breach have not been confirmed, but the general consensus among students is that their anxieties are not unwarranted. 

 In another potentially unrelated development, Fox 8 News reported other schools are experiencing similar issues, including Louisiana State University. According to an Instagram reel from Loyola’s Maroon, there have been complaints about Tulane’s WiFi not working either. Tulane’s campus is adjacent to Loyola.

For future updates, please look to The Lion’s Roar website and Instagram, along with Southeastern’s Facebook.