A Student's Guide to IT at Westmont
An informational resource on email, calendars, networks, the iPhone app, the IT Help Desk, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more.
Dr. Reed Sheard
VP for College Advancement
and Chief Information Officer
My name is Dr. Reed Sheard and I serve as Chief Information Officer at Westmont College.
Technology at Westmont plays a vital role in the life of our community. From personal computing to classroom technology to social networking, every service and platform has experienced major improvements in use and capability in recent years.
Westmont was one of seven colleges and universities named to the InfoWorld 100 Awards as one of the top 100 IT organizations that have “implemented and integrated technologies in innovative ways in pursuit of concrete business goals”. We also received a Circle of Excellence award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for our social media site focused on serving young alums.
The popular magazine eCampus News chose Westmont from nearly 4,500 colleges and universities as the eCampus of the month for January 2013. The publication says Westmont has “implemented predictive modeling and cloud-computing programs to save money and spend budgets efficiently, becoming a model for small schools looking for ways to survive the slumping economy.”
I mention these because they help demonstrate that Westmont is doing some very interesting and important work in the area of technology, focusing on a number of core areas:
Smartphone and Tablet Computing
We are committed to being a leader in mobile technology in higher education. The Westmont College iPhone app was introduced in 2010 and is updated frequently. It features a GPS-aware shuttle tracker, dining menu, live streaming of athletic events, calendars, email directory and more. A replica of the iPhone app was created (m.westmont.edu) to support non-iOS devices. Our popular college publication, the Westmont magazine, is available as a native iPad app. It includes articles from faculty members and stories about the amazing work being done by Westmont alumni and friends around the world.
Westmont was the first school in the nation to transition all wireless access to 802.11n. We implemented over 290 wireless access points across campus to provide nearly 100% coverage. In addition, wireless is also available at our off-campus apartments in Santa Barbara and at our urban center in San Francisco. Sign-on is simple, secure and reliable. Every day more than 3,000 devices connect to our wireless network.
Recognizing how much work occurs via the Internet, Westmont has invested heavily in this area. Since 2009 we have dramatically increased wireless speeds at the college. Residence halls currently have nearly 1 Gbps of Internet access while the library, classrooms and college offices have access to a dedicated DS3. All told, this represents a seven-fold increase from 2009.
Cloud-based computing services give Westmont students, faculty and staff access to Westmont’s Google Apps services for email, calendar and document sharing. In addition, library resources in Voskuyl Library were recently moved to the cloud, giving students a friendlier user interface and full-text access to nearly 3,000,000 eBooks with 88,000 eBooks being added each semester.
Technology and Voskuyl Libary
The recently renovated Voskuyl Library Learning Commons integrates technology and traditional library services in spaces designed to inspire students to learn, think and imagine. Students have access to online databases, nine new conference rooms integrated with technology designed to foster collaboration, two different computer labs, blazing fast wireless, over 200 electrical outlets for plugging in your favorite device and 500 free pages of printing per semester in the Library for all students.
Westmont iTunes U and YouTube
Westmont iTunes U has over 3,000 videos and audio lectures, Westmont Downtown Lecture Series and other special events. We converted over 30 years of recorded chapel talks and making them available in iTunes. In addition, WestmontTV, a YouTube channel, provides access to much of the same content. Westmont was one of the first schools in the country to provide live streaming of the college’s athletic events on the Westmont iPhone app with over 40 WarriorTV video broadcasts made available each semester.
All of us in IT are working hard to insure that your data is adequately protected. The wireless network and all my.westmont services (email, calendar and contacts) are encrypted for your protection. In addition, electronic card access exists in most residence halls.
In order to assist in ensuring the best learning environment possible, classrooms are either equipped with a start-of-the-art widescreen projector or LED/Plasma televisions, fast wireless, and advanced audio for presentations and lectures.
These are just some of the areas Westmont’s IT team is working on to reliably provide for students, faculty, staff and friends of the college. The opportunity technology represents to higher education when appropriately aligned to the larger purposes of the college is unprecedented. I recognize how quickly technology is changing and we are working to deliver technology-related services that make your connection to Westmont more useful and fun. Our goal is simple: to become one of the top technology departments in higher education. I encourage you to connect and check us out!
Before You Arrive
What kind of computer do I need?
A modern, up-to-date computer (3 years or less) would be best so you’re not spending a lot of time with a slow or troublesome machine.
Bring the original disks for your computer.
If something happens with your computer, you’ll need the discs/flash drive that came with it.
Remove any existing virus protection software from your computer and install Microsoft Security Essentials
Westmont’s network is equipped with two powerful firewalls that filter out unwanted or unknown network traffic. For PC users (Windows 8 comes with this installed), Microsoft offers a program called, “Microsoft Security Essentials” to combat the few intruders who make it through our firewalls. Microsoft provides this software free to all users who can prove their OS is genuine. With a little routine maintenance, this program will help keep your computer running virus free while you’re at Westmont, your home, a coffee shop, etc.
Warning! Running more than one virus scanner at the same time will drastically reduce your computers functionality. Ensure that only one full-time program is installed on your computer, and when running a different program to check for specific attackers, be sure to turn off your full-time protection. Users have unknowingly deleted important system files on their computer when a third-party application detects system files as threats.How to delete your virus protection software:
- Click the Start menu
- Select Settings
- Select Control Panel
- Double click Add or Remove Programs
- Find and click on your virus protection software (some examples include: McAfee, Norton Antivirus, Norton Security, Trend Micro, Sophos, AVG, Panda Antivrus etc… ) and click Remove.
- Follow the prompts to remove this software. You may need to reboot to complete the uninstall.
Once the uninstall is complete, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download and click ‘get it now’ to install the new software.
The install is quick and will ask to run a 30-minute scan after updating the first time you use it. Ensure you are updating this program continuously since new viruses emerge often.
Wi-Fi or Wired?
There are two networks on Westmont’s campus: “Westmont_Open” and “Westmont_Encrypted”. For visitors, “Westmont_Open” is provided for their convenience on campus without the need for a Westmont account, and is severely restricted in speed and access policies. “Westmont_Encypted” is the network to connect to if you have a Westmont account because it’s secure and many times faster. Nearly all of the campus is covered with Wi-Fi access.
There’s at least one ethernet port in each dorm room but you’ll need to obtain your own cable.
Devices (Xbox, PS, AppleTV, i.e.)
Both Wi-Fi networks, “Westmont_Encypted” and “Westmont_Open” do not support peer to peer gaming. To get access to the gaming network:
- Once you’re on campus, submit a Mayday (see pg. 11 for details) making sure to include the access point name from my.meraki.com under Access Point Setup (use your computer or smart phone’s browser to find this information) from the room your device is in.
- You’ll be notified via email when the “gaming” network on that access point is enabled.
- Connect to the hidden SSID “gaming” with the password you’re given from the Mayday resolution.
Is there phone service in my room?
Students must provide their own phone. Phone service (extension number and dial tone), and a voice mailbox are available free of charge to students who subscribe. To subscribe to phone and/or voice mailbox service, login to your Student Profile, and under Telephone Services, click “Enable”. A long distance code is required for all out-of-area-code calls; this may be enabled from your Student Profile. All charges are billed to your Student Account.
What kind of computer support is offered?
Students can get assistance at the IT Help Desk for network connection issues, viruses/malware, and troubleshooting hardware problems. For more information, see the next page under the section, “Voskuyl Library IT Help Desk”.
Connecting to the network
Wired: Connect your computer to a port via an ethernet cable. You’re ready to go.
Wi-Fi: Connect to the network named “Westmont_Encrypted”. Where you find this depends on your computer. If you have Snow Leopard and earlier installed, go to the Help Desk if you can’t connect to the network.
Mac: click on the airport icon in the upper right menu bar area of your screen. Drop down to “Westmont_Encrypted” and release.
Windows XP: right click on the wireless icon in your task bar in the lower right area of your screen and choose View Available Wireless Networks. Click on “Westmont_Encrypted” and click on Connect.
Windows 7/8: right click on the Network Access icon in your task bar in the lower right area of your screen and choose Connect to a Network. In the Show dialog box choose Wireless and select “Westmont_Encrypted”.
When you first connect, you will be asked to authenticate using your Westmont email username and password, and to accept the access point’s certificate.
When you authenticate, you are agreeing to comply with the IT Resource Use Policy. Having problems authenticating? Reset your password and try again.
Note: You will also see the network “Westmont_Open”, which will allow you to connect without authenticating. It is provided for the convenience of visitors on campus without a Westmont account, and will be severely restricted in speed and access policies (no access to YouTube, Netflix, etc.).
Join “Westmont_Encrypted” for the fastest and most secure connection.
Voskuyl Library IT Help Desk
Located at the center of the main floor in the Library, and staffed by student workers, the IT Help Desk is open from 8:00 am to midnight, Monday-Thursday, and during all open hours on the weekends. Students are encouraged to come here first for all questions related to computing. Basic services are offered free of charge to the students:
If your computer is having difficulty connecting to the network when others are not, the staff at the IT Help Desk will help you. Whether it’s a Mac or PC, each student worker will troubleshoot your connection issues.
Spyware, Malware, and/or Virus Removal
If your computer has become infected with unwanted digital pests, odds are it is salvageable and can be fixed. Depending on the severity of your computer’s infection, the student worker may or may not be able to fix it on the spot. If the computer needs to be kept overnight, you will be asked to provide a flash drive to store any documents you are working on. When not being worked on, it will be kept in a locked storage cabinet in the library.
Diagnosing Hardware problems
If your computer is still under warranty and needs repair, you will need to contact the manufacturer (Apple, Dell, etc).
If your computer is no longer under manufacturer warranty, student workers will occasionally investigate the cause of your computer’s problems and recommend a course of action for you. Other than for network and malware problems, student workers are not expected to fix your computer free of charge. They have permission to charge an hourly or per-job rate to fix your computer (with the consult of an IT staff member).
Library Commons Assistance
Student workers will help you format documents in a number of programs including the Microsoft Office Suite, PSPP, SPSS, and Diet Logging. They can also assist in printing documents in various formats, screen questions, and other miscellaneous questions.
For new students, printing at Westmont can seem a bit complicated. Search for Papercut on westmont.edu to follow an easy guide on printing, as well as a short summary of charges and semester allocations. If you encounter problems, see a student worker at the IT Help Desk.
If you are required to present a PowerPoint and do not have an adapter to connect to a projector, ask for assistance from the IT Help Desk. You can check out an adapter to complete your presentation.
It’s common for laptops not to have a DVD drive installed. If you need to check out an external DVD drive, you are able to do so. There is a limited quantity, so keep in mind the Library Commons has 50 computers with DVD drives that are available for your use.
Expected Conduct While Using Computer Labs
Facebook, YouTube, and other media
If the library is busy and students at other computers are working on documents, please respect their concentration and avoid navigating to websites containing media or personal interests. Many students patiently wait to use a computer to print a research document, so if you are viewing videos or listening to music and are done with your assignments, be courteous to others and allow them access to the computers.
Eating and Drinking in the Computer Labs
Eating while using a computer in the lab is prohibited. In order to preserve the condition of the computers, please do not eat while using a computer. If you notice someone eating, report it to the IT Help Desk. The student workers have the right to ask anyone not respecting this rule to stop using the computer and eat elsewhere.
Although water and any other beverage with a secure top is allowed in the lab, we ask that you place your beverage on the floor beside you rather than on top of the desk. Accidents happen, but we can all work together to prevent them.
If you have a group project and are meeting in the Library Commons to work on a computer, please return chairs to where you found them.
Respect for the Desks
The desks that the computers are on were not built to support a lot of weight. Please be courteous by sitting in the chairs, rather than on top of the desks.
User Account, Email, Calendar
Westmont’s user accounts are often called ‘Email Accounts’, but email is only one of the services this account provides. Your account allows you to log in to Westmont’s network (“Westmont_Encrypted”), as well as any web apps or forms you encounter. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Financial Aid Student Portal (netpartner.westmont.edu)
- Student Profile (Housing and parking information forms)
- Upkeep (Maintenance for facilities)
- Google Apps (Email, Calendar and Docs)
- Eureka Course Management
Your username is the same as your email address; i.e. if your email address is email@example.com, your username is jdoe. Usernames are automatically generated to ensure they are not duplicated. The basic format is to prepend the first initial of the first name to the last name, as with the ‘jdoe’ example above. However, if the name is already taken, the next letter of the first name is added, and so on until there are no more letters available.
An account is made for you when you submit your application. This allows you to log in to Westmont’s web forms but does not include email. Details about your account will be sent to you by postal mail. Your account will be upgraded to add email and other functions either on June 2 (for students entering in fall) or at the time you are confirmed (for students entering in spring).
Setting your password
New account owners will not be able to supply the “old password” requested by the form. Students can provide other information requested on the righthand side of the form in lieu of an old password. Others may call 805-565-6150 for assistance with setting their password or visit my.westmont.edu/change_password.
Access your email via the web
To access your email via the web, log in at https://my.westmont.edu.
Set up your account on an iOS device
- Go into the “Settings” app.
- Select “Mail, Calendars, Contacts”.
- Select “Add New...”.
- Select “Gmail”.
- Enter account info. Be sure to include “@westmont.edu” as part of your username.
- Select “Confirm”.
The college has a number of calendars you can subscribe so you can have it listed on . Here’s how to subscribe to the public calendars:
- Sign into your Westmont account on https://my.westmont.edu.
- Click on “Calendar” in the top navigation.
- Click “Other calendars” on the left side navigation, then copy and paste a calendar URL from the list below and paste it into the “Add a friend’s calendar” field.
- Then press the “Add” button or press the “Return” key to submit the form and you’ll see the calendar populate below under “Other Calendars”.
- Arts, Lectures and Events
- Dining Commons
- Student Life Programs and Events
Once you’ve subscribed to any of these calendars, your smartphone will sync them if you’ve set up your Westmont account and selected “Calendars” to be “On” then calendars will be synced to your phone.
The Westmont iPhone App
The Westmont iPhone app gives you access to the latest information about Westmont College no matter where you are.
- News: View current and historical headlines about what’s happening at Westmont. All news articles are fully searchable.
- Magazine: Now any issue of the Westmont Magazine can be read right from the app, and, just like News, all issues are fully searchable.
- Calendars: What time is the soccer game? Using the calendar function you can find information on academics, admissions, alumni, arts and lectures, athletics, chapel, events, and more.
- Contact: Look up Westmont students, staff, and faculty and use the native email and phone capabilities of your iPhone to stay connected. We’ve also provided a list of common phone numbers to help you find exactly who you’re looking for.
- About: Interested in learning more about Westmont? Read a brief overview of quick facts and stats about the college.
- Campus Map: Looking to attend Westmont? Come visit our beautiful campus and use your iPhone to navigate around. Select a building to visit and the app will show you exactly where it’s located.
- Dining: Hungry? Want to know what is on the menu before heading down to the dining commons? Up-to-date menus are now available.
- Emergency: Need instructions for what to do if something happens on or near campus? Clear instructions are now available to you on your iPhone.
- iTunes U: Easily connect to Westmont’s iTunes U page with just one click right from the app.
- Shuttle: Westmont’s extensive shuttle service is an invaluable resource for students. You can review published shuttle schedules and even see where the shuttle is located in real time via GPS units on each shuttle.
- Technology: Information about the role technology plays at Westmont as well as some of our plans for the future.
- WarriorTV: Watch live, internet broadcast of Westmont Athletic events.
Search for “Westmont College” in the iTunes App Store on your iPhone to download the app or click here.
If you don’t have an iOS device, Westmont has built a mobile version of the iPhone app. The same features and functionality can be found at m.westmont.edu.
The Westmont magazine on the iPad features stories by and about the college’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It provides information about important news and events on campus, and each issue includes a column by President Gayle D. Beebe. The magazine on the iPad is a great source of information about the people and activities of Westmont College.
How to Submit a Mayday
- Go to https://mayday.westmont.edu.
- Check the Service Alerts, System Status Summary, and Most Recent Maydays on Mayday’s home page to determine if your trouble could be caused by a problem that we are already working on.
- If you still need to submit a Mayday, login with your username and password.
- Choose New Request. As a student, you can choose from the following list:
- Network (including Ocean View)
- Unblock Web Site
- myWestmont (Email, Calendaring)
- Eureka Course Management
- User Accounts/Passwords
- Email Sending and Receiving
- Email Lists - Mailman
- Key Cards
- Westmont iPhone App
- Choose “Submit”. Your request will be sent to the right person within IT and they’ll respond to your request in a timely manner.
Your Mayday Job List
To access the list of your Mayday requests:
- Log in to Mayday.
- Select “View/Update/Escalate/Cancel Requests”.
- Choose whether you want to see your open jobs, closed jobs, or all jobs and how you want the list sorted.
There will be links to view the job log, escalate the job, cancel the job, or make an update. The update function allows you to send a message to the person from IT who is working on the project, and your update also goes into the job log.
Email Notifications from Mayday
Mayday sends email notifications whenever the IT staff member working on your request has made an update to the job log. To reply to these emails, please use the link provided in the email so your reply will be added to the log.
Reactivating a Mayday
If we have closed a Mayday but your problem was not fixed, or the exact same problem reoccurs, you may reactivate the Mayday. You will need to select closed jobs on your Mayday list, and then click on the reactivate link. Fill in your comments and submit the form. Remember to be respectful in your submission. There are many reasons a Mayday might have been closed, some of which are not always immediately apparent.
Is it better to bring a laptop or a desktop?
We support both but 95% of students use a laptop and since most all of campus has Wi-Fi access, you’ll be able to connect outside your dorm while still on campus.
What kind of computer access will I have if I don’t bring a computer to Westmont?
The Library Commons area on the main floor has 52 iMac computers that run both Mac OS X and Windows 7 operating systems from which you have printer, internet, and email access.
Will I need my own printer?
You certainly don’t need your own printer, but you can bring your own. All computer labs at Westmont have printers and each student has a 500 page per semester allotment using the Library printers. You may bring or send your files to the Library computers. They should be in MS Word format (Windows or Mac) or PDF format so you can be confident you can open them on our computers. A fee of $.05 per page will be charged to your account for printing once you exceed the per semester limit.
What if something goes wrong with my computer?
IT supports student computers with problems such as network connection and viruses. For other kinds of problems, we can make a quick diagnosis and make recommendations for repair. Be sure to bring your original installation discs with you to Westmont and any warranty or vendor information in case you need to contact technical support while you are here.
What computer systems does the network support?
We provide network support for: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X or newer, and Linux. You may bring computers running other operating systems, but we will not provide network support.
What network access is available from residence halls?
We provide wireless high-speed network access in residence hall rooms 24 hours a day, including the off-campus housing facility at Ocean View.
Where else on campus are wireless network connections available?
Wireless network connections are available in all academic areas, Kerr Student Center and Dining Commons, and various outdoor open spaces near academic buildings.
May I bring my own wireless access point (router)?
No. Student-implemented routers are prohibited and interfere with the Wi-Fi network already in place. Any routers will be discovered by our monitoring systems and will be required to be removed.
How do I get an email account?
By the time you read this, you should know your email address and have already set your password. If you have not set your password, go to https://my.westmont.edu and select the Reset Your Password link below the Login button. Westmont student email accounts are hosted at Google, but your Westmont email address will be YourUsername@westmont.edu.
How do I access my Westmont email?
Most students type ‘my.westmont.edu’ into the address bar, but you may also use a desktop email client such as Outlook, or Mac Mail. You will need to turn on either POP (download email) or IMAP (leave email on server) from the settings of your Google Apps email ( https://my.westmont.edu, then click on gear icon). There are links to configuration instructions on the settings page.
Can I continue to use my outside email provider (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)?
Yes, but you will need to forward your email from Westmont to that address. All official email communication will be sent to your Westmont email address.
How can I forward my Westmont email to a different address?
Even if your other account is a Gmail account, you’ll still need to forward it there since Gmail and Westmont Google Mail are not the same.
- Log in at https://my.westmont.edu.
- Click Settings at the top of the screen
- Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP and fill in as needed.
Does Westmont backup my computer files or provide a way to do that?
No, you are responsible for your computer files so PLEASE make sure your important files are backed up on a regular basis. There are numerous solutions available, including local backup to an external hard drive and online backup services. If you have questions about this come talk to us at the IT Help Desk.
Can I get a job working with IT?
IT is often looking for student technicians, IT Help Desk workers, and switchboard operators. Visit the “On-Campus Jobs (WestmontLink)” to find postings.
I still have a question after reading this guide. How can I reach IT?
We encourage you to ask the IT Help Desk or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.