Skip To Content

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 we 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:
 
 
Software:
  • 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 also recommends downloading Malwarebytes in addition to antivirus for extra protection.
  • The College uses Windows and Apple 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:
    • Windows 7 service pack 1
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 10
    • Linux
    • Mac OS X
  • The College has Office 365 available for students at no charge.  It can be accessed by going to the following link https://login.microsoftonline.com
 
Hardware:
The college does not offer specially configured laptop models. However, Westminster use Dell and Apple 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
  • 120 GB Hard Drive
  • 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 and Apple notebook models with the following configurations:
  • Latitude 14 5000 Series (E5470) (Hardware specifications):
    14.0 inch screen, Intel Core i5-6440HQ Quad Core processor, 8 GB RAM 1 DIMM, 2 GB video card, 256 GB solid state hard drive, Intel wireless card AC + Bluetooth 4.1

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch (Hardware specifications): 
    13.0 inch screen, Intel Core i5-Dual Core processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB solid state hard drive, wireless card AC + Bluetooth 4.0

 

 
Questions about student computer requirements or recommendations can be directed to Stanton Fleming Director of User 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 TitanNet
Students 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.
 

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 7 sp1, Windows 8, Windows 10 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.