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. More and more work you'll be doing will require you to be on-line for coursework or research. Most of your professors will want to communicate with you via e-mail. 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). Also, technology is now 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, email access etc. 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

If you want to open your account before you arrive on campus, you can do so online once you have received your Student ID number. Your ID number will be listed in the Network Access Information letter (included with this letter). Click Here and follow the directions for opening your account.

If you decide to wait until you arrive on campus, there will be more information about your network account in your Opening Days packet. If you need some help, there will be WITS Help Desk staff on duty in Smullin 119. Much of the class information is distributed via email, make sure your account is activated by the first day of classes.

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.

  • 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: Most new computers come with only a trial version of an anti-virus product. This is not sufficient. Install a full version anti-virus software on your system and keep it up-to-date. WITS will provide Symantec Endpoint Protection free of charge to all students. You can download it when you register your computer on the campus network. If you don't use the anti-virus software provided by WITS, you may install other anti-virus software, but it must be kept up-to-date.

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.

  • More details on specs and other Computer Recommendations
  • 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.
  • Wireless built-in. It's hard to find a laptop without this feature, but be sure to verify that any computer is "WiFi" capable. (802.11b/g compliant). The campus is largely covered by a wireless network available to all students.
  • 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. Current Willamette students can purchase Microsoft Office for Windows or Macintosh at a substantially reduced price through an arrangement with the Oregon Educational Technology Consortium:

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. The Willamette Store stocks WITS-suggested drives for this purpose.