Bring a Laptop to Campus
Students are not required to have a computer, but Westminster recommends that students bring a laptop to campus. Academic work will require the use of information resources, and e-mail is an official means of communication with students. A laptop provides benefits in coursework and academic research as well as in its role as a tool for communication and discussion with faculty and fellow students. In addition to the advantage it has over a desktop computer in conserving limited space in student rooms, its portability allows it to be used in a variety of locations including classrooms and labs, the libraries, the campus center, and other venues throughout campus. Another important benefit in having a laptop is the opportunity it offers to take advantage of wireless connectivity that is present in all academic and residential buildings.
A few words about the TitanNet network
Westminster's Microsoft and Cisco based campus network, named TitanNet, exists to support the academic mission of the College. It is a single network connecting all academic buildings and residence halls, with a link to the Internet via wired or wireless. Access to the network is a privilege provided to students. It is the responsibility of each individual student to use the network responsibly in accordance with the College's Policy for Responsible Use of Information Resources. Every student is given an account on the network with personal disk space for storage of files and an email account available on- and off-campus, access to grades, course schedules and online scheduling of courses. Electronic folders along with the college Learning Management System are used to submit assignments and collaborate with other students and faculty. In addition to these resources of the network being available from public computer labs, private departmental labs, libraries, and other academic areas, each student in a residence hall is provided a data port in their room for connecting their own computer to TitanNet. These ports provide access to the Internet as well as other services of the network. The college also has wireless access throughout the college for students to connect their devices that support the WPA2 protocol.
Choosing a computer to connect to TitanNet
It is the student's responsibility to bring a computer to campus that meets Westminster's requirements. It is also the student's responsibility to provide all support for the computer including having the computer configured to connect to the campus network. If there are any network problems Information Systems will determine whether or not the issue is on the college end or an issue a student will have to resolve. If the problem is not with college resources, we encourage students to use their devices standard warranty to get assistance with the problem.
Spyware and Peer-to-Peer Applications Cause Problems
Critical for successful connection and operation of your PC on TitanNet is to avoid having extraneous software applications on the computer. Spyware and peer-to-peer applications frequently cause conflicts on networked PCs. Take appropriate steps to keep these types of applications off your computer.
Requirements and Recommendations for Student Computers on TitanNet :
Requirements and recommendations for student machines that connect to the campus network include the following:
- Every computer must have updated antivirus software. The college uses Symantec (Norton) antivirus; however, students can connect using other antivirus programs such as McAfee, AVG and ClamAV.
The College uses primarily Windows-based computers in classrooms, labs, offices and other academic areas. Students can attempt to connect to the network (and in the past have connected) with any of the following operating systems; however, the College does not provide support for non-Windows operating systems:
- Windows XP service pack 3
- Windows Vista service pack 2
- Windows 7 service pack 1
- Windows 8
- Mac OS X
- The college recommends that students purchase Microsoft Office Professional software. Office Professional is the standard productivity software used on campus and will be useful for sharing files easily with faculty, staff and other students. Office Professional and other Microsoft products can be purchased at significant discount through the Microsoft Select program that can be reached at http://www.journeyed.com/select
Hardware:The college does not offer specially configured laptop models. However, Westminster primarily uses Dell computers in our offices and labs, and students can go to the special website http://www.dell.com/westminster to purchase laptops from Dell at a discounted cost. These purchase transactions are strictly between Dell and students. The College receives no remuneration from these purchases; this opportunity is provided only as a service to the campus community.
Westminster recommends the following as minimum requirements for student computers:
- Wireless must support WPA2
- Intel Core I5 Processor
- 4 GB RAM
- 250 GB Hard Drive
- DVD +/- RW
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Up-to-date antivirus software (required)
- 4 year warranty for hardware repairs
For students who are looking for a little assistance in selecting hardware to purchase, the College uses the Dell Latitude E6430 and Dell Latitude E6530 notebook models with the following configurations:
Latitude E6430 (Hardware specifications):14.0 inch screen, Intel Core i7-3720QM processor, 8 GB RAM 2 DIMMS, 1 GB video card, 500 GB hard drive, Intel wireless card a/g/n, 8X DVD +/- RW
Latitude E6530 (Hardware specifications):15.6 inch screen, Intel Core i7-3720QM processor, 8 GB RAM 2 DIMMS, 1 GB video card, 500 GB hard drive, Intel wireless card a/g/n, 8X DVD +/- RW
Questions about student computer requirements or recommendations can be directed to Stanton Fleming, Coordinator of User of Desktop Services, 724-946-7282.
Connecting Student Computers to the campus TitanNet network
- All student machines must be configured properly in order to use them on TitanNet and the Internet
- If you bring a computer to campus, it must meet the campus requirements, including having an active anti-virus application with regular updates
- Support will be provided for connecting your PC only if your computer meets all college requirements and is free from extraneous and conflicting applications. This support is in the form of posted notices to the my.westminster.edu portal, responses to online messages describing specific problems, and some student staff technical support
- Only student end-user devices may be connected to the campus network. No equipment configured as a router, switch, server, or other network control device is permitted on TitanNet
Off-Campus Connections to TitanNetStudents living off-campus who have an Internet connection can access Westminster e-mail and numerous other campus resources from the College website at http://my.westminster.edu.
Registering Your Computer
For desktops and laptops, the college uses a program called the Cisco NAC agent to verify the following:
- Operating system at at recommended level
- Antivirus is installed on desktop/laptop and has updated signatures
For mobile devices (Androids, iPads, iPhone, iPods, Kindles, Windows Phone, Windows Surface) the device has to be connected to the college wireless network first, then with the mobile device browser initial setup will redirect you to a page where registration information must be filled out. Information as to how to do this will be located on the my.westminster.edu portal.
For gaming systems the device must be brought down to the call center in Hoyt where call center staff will register your gaming device.
Important Notices & Disclaimers
- As a condition of enrollment at Westminster, all students agree to abide by the Policy for Responsible Use of Information Resources that is contained in the Handbook for Students.
- Westminster College provides TitanNet as an educational tool for use by our students, and makes no implied warranty of network availability, reliability, or suitability for individual student requirements.
- Windows XP sp3, Windows Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, Windows 8 and MAC OSX operating systems are supported. Linux can be connected to TitanNet but is not supported by College staff.
- Up-to-date virus protection is required at all times for all operating systems. This means having an active antivirus software application and current virus signatures at all times
- No equipment configured as a server, router, switch, or other network access or control device may be connected to the campus network by any method (data jack, wireless or other type of connection). Only enduser devices may be connected to TitanNet.
- Spyware programs such as peer-to-peer file-sharing applications, should not be installed on computers. Spyware is known to decrease PC and network performance and to spread viruses and worms. It can also interfere with your TitanNet connection.
- Personal firewalls from Microsoft or other companies may interfere with network connectivity if not configured properly. Also, settings for networks to which your PC may have been previously connected, at home or office, should be changed or removed to eliminate conflicts with TitanNet.
- The College and its vendors cannot guarantee that any particular machine will be able to connect to the campus network and/or run network applications unless it is a College recommended model. Neither the College nor its vendors will assume any responsibility if such PCs do not connect to the network or are unable to run network applications. This applies at the time of connection and any time thereafter.
- Each student assumes full responsibility for their device and its software and operation. Adding software, changing the configuration, connecting to another internet service, or acquiring malicious data which changes machine settings so that the computer no longer works on the College network will result in limited assistance being available from College personnel, but ultimately each student is responsible for maintaining their devices and resolving problems with their specific machine.
- Microsoft Office Professional is recommended for student PCs. This software and other selected Microsoft products including Windows operating system upgrades can be purchased at significant discounts, subject to licensing and purchasing requirements, through Microsoft's Student Select program. Contact http://www.journeyed.com/select. Note: these purchases include a license and application CD but not support or upgrade protection. Only one copy of each individual product may be purchased by each student.