Information about computers for incoming students

You will soon be part of the virtual community on the Willamette Campus Network, which is managed by Willamette Integrated Technology Services (WITS). Below you will find information about the network and telephones on campus. We'll provide some very brief notes and point you to our web site where you can find much more in-depth information.

Bringing a computer to campus

It is very beneficial to have a personal computer on campus. With every passing year, computer technology becomes more and more integrated into instructional methods. We do have many computer labs on campus, several of which are "24/7", so there are plenty of opportunities for students who choose not to bring a personal computer to campus.

Locking-up your laptop

Your room will not be equipped with anything to lock your laptop to, so we advise you to always lock your room and insure your laptop (your home insurance may not automatically cover your laptop, so check with your insurance carrier). Services are also available that can allow your laptop to be tracked on the Internet if it is stolen. WITS does not provide this technology or offer any direct support, but it can be ordered on a new laptop or added later. For more information on one laptop tracking solution, visit

More Information

Getting on the internet, printing, and email. See our site for further details about computing and the network resources you'll have available to you as Willamette University services.

Network/Email Account

You will want to open your Willamette email account as soon as possible. This will be the primary means the university will use to communicate important information with you int he time leading up to your arrival on campus. You can do so online once you have received your Student ID number. Your ID number will be listed the Welcome email. Follow the directions for opening your account.

Antivirus and Security

Any computer that is connected to a network is at risk for infection from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. One infected computer on campus can cause a campus-wide outbreak. WITS requires that you keep your operating system and anti-virus software up-to-date.

  • Operating System Updates: Make sure that you've installed all the latest security patches for your operating system. Both Windows and Apple systems can be set to download updates automatically.
  • Anti-virus: Always be sure a full version anti-virus software on your system and kept it up-to-date. Many computers come with a limited-time trial, which is not sufficient.
  • Windows: Microsoft has integrated their own anti-virus product: Windows Defender into Windows 8,8.1. This is usually sufficient, but other programs can be purchased which offer anti-virus protection.
  • Macintosh: Apple's OSX have become an increasing target for viruses and  malware. Keeping an up-to-date anti-virus program on your Mac computer is just as important as it is for Windows. Many of the major anti-virus software companies make products for OSX.

Purchasing a computer

If you do plan to purchase a new computer, Willamette has some recommendations you might wish to consider. You can also purchase computers from the Willamette Store. Check out for details.

  • Extended warranty & accidental damage coverage. Laptops suffer more wear than a desktop computers, and the longer you own one the more likely it will need costly repairs. Consider any extended and accidental damage coverage offered.
  • Office Software: Very few pieces of software are as important to your academic career as office software (word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, database). Microsoft Office has become the norm, but there are several other choices available (e.g., Corel WordPerfect Office). Some computers only ship with trial versions of the software. A full version is recommended. Student pricing is often available for Microsoft Office from companies or directly from Microsoft's Online Store.

Windows or Macintosh?

Willamette supports both the Windows and the Macintosh operating systems. All of the essential services Willamette provides are available on both platforms. Keep in mind that some course-specific software programs may be Mac or Windows only. Be sure to match your OS to the needs you'll have most.

External Drive for backup

Your data (school work, pictures, etc..) is the most important part of your computer. WITS strongly recommends the purchase of an external hard drive to use for backing-up your data. These drives are very inexpensive and offer more than enough storage for most users.