There are some things in life that just push your buttons. You can be fine one moment and fly into an uncontrollable rage the next. Maybe your pet peeve are cars who put their turn signal on a mile before the turn. Maybe you’re tired of politicians talking about what they’re going to do without actually doing it. Here at UMD though, things are a bit different. Regardless of who they are, students at UMD have 5 universal things they detest on campus.

1. Slow/Unresponsive WiFi


UMD has one of the best Computer Science programs in the nation. However, its IT department is fundamentally lacking.  The university touts the installation of over 200 repeaters to strengthen the network signal and boost reliably, but those words have been nothing but empty promises. Over the last year, the WiFi has gotten worse in terms of reliability and speed. One often cannot watch YouTube at 480p resolution without buffering in the middle of videos. Once, the WiFi completely failed for 3 whole days, a problem which UMD attributed to an increase of students on campus.

2. DOTS being extremely nitpicky about everything


UMD students joke on Reddit that the Department of Transportation at UMD (DOTS) only exists because the university cannot jack up tuition any more without pissing off a bunch of people. DOTS is the university’s response to having a budget shortfall in that they will cause you to cough up money for even the slightest infraction. Did you overstay your visit in the parking lot by one minute? You better believe that DOTS will be patrolling the area on the dot (pun intended) and most likely catch you. They might be lenient the first time and let you off with a warning but still that doesn’t mean people like them.

3. UMD alert siren going off every month


Every Wednesday at 11:00 AM, the fat lady comes out to sing at UMD except it isn’t opera that you’re hearing; it’s more of a high-pitched wailing sound. The sound is loud enough to shake your body even a mile away and it really makes you consider tearing your hair out. What’s worse is the same thing happens on every first Wednesday of every month. You would think the university would have gauges that tell them if the alarm is working, but apparently not. They would rather subject students to the fat lady every month.

4. UMD texting you about an incident constantly


College Park isn’t among the safest towns to be in if you’re a college student and crime does often and regularly occur both on and off campus. Moreover, safety is supposed to be a university’s number one priority. However, the UMD text alert system is pretty over the top in terms of how many alerts it sends out. Maybe the university is afraid of the backlash V. Tech received after the massacre in 2007, but five texts in the span of 30 minutes about a simple non-violent robbery seems a bit ridiculous. At this rate, UMD should be more worried about panic attacks than actual crime.

5. Unresponsive dining staff


The UMD dining staff is notorious for not following up on food related illnesses and other issues caused by their foods. For example, a student found a bumble bee in her salad. When she reported the incident to the dining hall staff, the manager said the staff would look into the problem and that something of that nature would never happen again. Barely a week later, another student found plastic in his pasta. Incidents like these are admittedly rate, but it seems the dining staff have never taken any action to combat the issues even though they say they would.


There are few things that many people can agree on, but UMD Terps are a special bunch.There are shared values all Terps hold near and dear such as the right to fast and reliable internet, the right to safe food, and the right to privacy. It is sad then that UMD isn’t delivering its best for its students at least subjectively speaking. The WiFi is neither fast nor reliable, the food can be sickening at times (rarely) and privacy is out the window when the fat lady sings.


Benjamin Mao

Computer Science student at the University of Maryland. Bibliophile and enjoys trying new things and hanging out with friends.

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