While students were off enjoying spring break, staff members for Information Services were hard at work preparing for several technology updates. These changes include a new look and enhanced functionality for the Kalamazoo College webmail system, as well as improved wireless access in Trowbridge and DeWaters residence halls.
One of the most visible changes is the updated webmail login screen, which features a new color palette and a Kalamazoo College logo. According to Greg Diment, Associate Provost for Information Services, these changes are the first step in a bigger Exchange server upgrade that will become more noticeable in the upcoming weeks. This update will include new webmail features, as well as functionality in a number of different browsers.
“Right now, using Internet Explorer gives you more features,” Diment explains, “But we have found that students don’t want to use Internet Explorer any more.” With the upcoming improvements, those features will be available in other browsers, including Chrome and Firefox. The switch will begin with Information Services departmental staff, but should be released to the general campus community in the next few weeks.
Other improvements include a 12 percent increase in available bandwidth, as well as several new Internet access points.
After investigating complaints about slow wireless Internet access in residence halls, Information Services found some trouble spots. “A lot of students are bringing in their own access points, and that is interfering,” according to Diment. In addition, the department found several Internet dead spots, leading to the installation of three new access points—two in Trowbridge and one in DeWaters.
Students can also look forward to the replacement of all public computers in the Upjohn Library, a change that will be made over summer break. The current library computers are about five years old, Diment says, and are starting to run slowly. Additional bandwidth upgrades could also be in the College’s future, if necessary.
Diment encourages students to contact Information Services when technology concerns arise. Detailed error reports that include time, physical location, and web address are useful in locating computer issues and internet dead spots. Students should feel free to approach the library Help Desk or Student Computer Consultants with such issues, and reports can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.