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Frequently Asked Questions

Susquehanna University makes broad use of technology resources to significantly enhance student opportunities for learning. Listed below are questions that many students and parents have regarding their own computer and their education at Susquehanna.

Do I need a computer to be a successful student at Susquehanna?

No. More than 200 computers are located in eight large computer labs, one of which is open 24/7 during the academic year. Most labs are used for instruction throughout the day, with the exception of the 24-hour lab. The majority of the public computer labs are Windows-based. Some academic departments also have their own mini-labs with special software installed that students must use to complete assignments. Heavy demand at key times of the semester (when midterm or final papers or exams are due) may make it difficult to get access to a lab computer at those times. However, with appropriate planning, you can manage your course work with the use of these university-provided resources. Even so, many students find it highly advantageous to bring a personal computer to campus. All campus residence halls (except Liberty Alley and avenue housing) offer wireless network connectivity to the university's network, through which email and access to the Internet are available.

Should I buy a notebook or desktop computer?

Consider the following:

  • Need for mobility: Wireless access is available throughout the majority of the campus. Having a notebook computer with wireless capabilities allows users to utilize the convenience of wireless Internet access.
  • Upgradability: The internal components of desktops are inherently easier to upgrade. If you like to work with computers at this level, you should consider a desktop.
  • Cost: Typically, desktops continue to sell for less than equivalently configured notebooks.

Should I buy a brand name or a "custom-built" computer?

Buying brand name is highly recommended. Manufacturers of brand name computers, such as Dell and Apple, absorb the costs of testing computer components for compatibility, performance and reliability. The manufacturer is then able to sell computers built with standardized high-quality components and to provide service and support for their systems worldwide.

Where should I buy my computer?

Buy your computer from a large reputable computer retailer, such as Dell or Apple. The Office of Information Technology website has links for both the Susquehanna educational Dell and Apple stores, where significant discounts are applied. Computers sold at department stores may have an appealing initial price tag, but keep in mind that these computers are consumer-grade models. Consumer-grade computers are not built for rigorous use, will typically have a home version of Windows installed, and often come with an inferior warranty (limited time period, limited coverage, slow turn-around, no on-site offerings, etc.). The computers offered through the IT website are enterprise/business-class computers, which are built to be more robust, come with professional editions of Windows installed, have a premium next business day, on-site warranty (with optional accidental coverage) and can be better supported by the IT Help Desk at Susquehanna. Please note, we highly recommend the purchase of one of our recommended system configurations. If you buy a computer that is not recommended, we cannot guarantee its compatibility with the Susquehanna network, and our help desk will only offer very limited support on it. We strongly suggest that you purchase a recommended model, configuration and warranty through the Susquehanna Dell or Apple sites.

What specifications does my computer need to meet?

The Office of Information Technology provides detailed computer specification guidelines for both desktops and laptops. These guidelines take into account the life cycle of computers, which is typically three years, and have been increased slightly to help ensure that your computer will still perform well in your fourth year at Susquehanna. Students who do not bring a recommended computer configuration cannot be guaranteed connection to the network or computer assistance from our help desk. Bringing a recommended model/configuration is highly encouraged.

Should I buy a warranty and service contract for my computer?

Yes. Any computer used at Susquehanna should have a service contract that includes onsite service. A service contract with a minimum of a three-year extended warranty is highly recommended. For notebook computers, accidental insurance is highly recommended.

Should I buy a PC or a Mac?

The computing environment at Susquehanna is heavily Windows-based, however the Office of Information Technology Help Desk is able to support students with either a Windows-based PC or a Macintosh. Majors that use Macintosh computers include: graphic design, art and some communications emphases. Majors where a Mac is clearly not recommended include business, mathematics or computer science. Click here for a list of majors with their recommended platform. If you choose a Mac, it is imperative that you have OS X (10.6, 10.7, or 10.8) and Microsoft Office 365 University. If necessary, university-provided computers are available in a lab environment for completing assignments that require the other platform.

Do I need my own printer?

No. Susquehanna provides black and white laser printers in each computer lab. There is no cost to print in the labs. The university print shop can accommodate larger or color print jobs at a nominal fee. Some students choose to bring their own color inkjet printer as an added convenience or for photo printing. WiFi printers are not compatible with ResNet. Printers with built-in Bluetooth are recommended, if wireless printing is preferred.

I already have a computer. Can I bring it?

Yes, however, it should meet the minimum specifications and recommendations discussed throughout this FAQ and the computer specifications. If these specifications and recommendations are not met, your computer may work but it may not perform as robustly as a newer computer. If you have specific questions about whether your current computer will be adequate, please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 570.372.4502 or helpdesk@susqu.edu. Students who do not bring a recommended computer configuration cannot be guaranteed connection to the network or computer assistance from our help desk. Bringing a recommended model/configuration is highly encouraged.

Why do you keep referencing Dell and Apple?

Susquehanna purchases nearly all university-owned computers and servers from Dell and Apple. They provide excellent products and support. Our help desk staff is most familiar with Dell and Apple brand models and will be able to better assist students with our recommended models.

What should I do to protect my notebook computer from theft?

Computer theft is very uncommon on Susquehanna’s campus; however, it does occasionally occur. One option to deter theft is a Kensington lock. A Kensington lock is a physical cable lock that fits into a specialized slot on most notebook computers. We have seen that these are often under-utilized or easily defeated. The Office of Information Technology recommends Computrace LoJack for Laptops from Absolute Software. LoJack is theft recovery software available for both Windows and Mac. LoJack can be purchased from the Susquehanna educational Dell or Apple stores.

What requirements does my computer need to meet to be able to connect to the local area network?

You need the following to connect to the campus network:

  • A wireless capable computer or wireless card (802.11 a/g/n with WPA2-Enterprise encryption compatibility): All of the models listed in our recommended computer configurations include everything that is needed. Wireless access is available in most locations, including all residence halls (except Liberty Alley and avenue housing), all academic spaces and the campus center. Wireless signal is not guaranteed in all areas of every building; however, all residence hall rooms are guaranteed coverage. Wireless network improvements are currently being planned; please refer back to the FAQs for future updates.
  • A supported operating system: The operating system is the software that "runs" your computer and allows other software to be installed and used. See software requirements for more information.

What operating system do I need to connect to the local area network?

See software requirements for more information.

How do I "connect" to the Susquehanna University Residential Network (ResNet)?

Providing that you’ve already prepared your computer with the ResNet requirements (see software requirements for more information), connecting is easy.

Windows:

  1. Check to make sure that your wireless card is enabled (most laptops have a switch or function key).
  2. Click on the wireless icon located on the Windows taskbar to view available wireless networks.
  3. Choose Crusader, then click connect.
  4. Enter your Susquehanna University username and password into their respective fields and click OK.
  5. When prompted with an alert regarding validation of server credentials, click connect.
  6. To verify connection, click the wireless icon on the taskbar again. If successfully connected, you will see “connected” appear next to the Crusader wireless network.
  7. If connecting for the first time, you will be prompted to download and install the Safe Connect agent and Symantec Endpoint Protection. Follow the onscreen instructions.

MAC:

  1. Click the AirPort status icon on the menu bar at the top-right corner of your screen and make sure Wi-Fi is turned on. Afterward, select Crusader from the menu.
  2. When prompted, enter your Susquehanna University username and password into their respective fields and click join.
  3. When the verify certificate window appears, click continue.
  4. To verify connection, ensure that you have a checkmark next to Crusader in the AirPort menu.
  5. If connecting for the first time, you will be prompted to download and install the Safe Connect agent and Symantec Endpoint Protection. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Tips: Crusader is full speed, full access, secured and permanent. SU-Guest is not. Crusader should be used for all computers, tablets and smart phones. Have a game system that doesn’t support WPA2-Enterprise security? Select SU-Guest for gaming or media systems. The network will recognize the device and allow specialized access. SU-Guest should only be used for actual guests OR to connect gaming and media devices.

What access do I have to the campus local area network from off-campus?

All Web-based services, including the Susquehanna website, Susquehanna Gmail, WebSU, mySU and Blackboard/Moodle are available to off-campus users. To access these resources, you will need to contract with an Internet service provider (ISP) of your choice. Two of the local ISPs are: Service Electric CableVision (800-522-2389) and Verizon (800-567-6789). There is no installation support available for off-campus users.

What is the phone service like at Susquehanna?

Both Verizon and AT&T cellular service provide a strong signal in Selinsgrove and the immediate area, both with reliable 4G data speeds. Landline phones are not provided in student rooms. On-campus students with a medical condition or other extenuating circumstances that would require a landline phone may contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 570-372-4502 for more information on having phone service installed in their dorm room.

Is cable TV service available on campus?

Yes, Susquehanna University provides one cable connection per room in all campus-owned housing. A variety of digital and HD programming is available. There is no extra cost for cable. You will need a TV with a QAM tuner (most flat panel TVs purchased in the past four to five years should have a QAM tuner). Students should bring a standard coaxial cable to hook up their TV to the cable jack provided in the residence halls. A 25-foot cable is recommended to accommodate various room layouts. Students should select the auto program/channel scan option from their TV’s menu after hooking up to the cable system for the first time. You can see the TV channel lineup here.

I’d like to set my Susquehanna University Gmail up on my smart phone. Is this possible?

Your Susquehanna University Gmail account can be setup on most popular smart phones and portable devices, including Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Setup instructions can be found on mySU.

Are wired network connections available?

In residence halls with no wireless coverage or only partial wireless coverage, one wired network port per student is guaranteed at no additional cost. Some residence halls are 100 percent wireless but still have disabled wired network ports. If wired network ports are available, students can request that a wired port be activated for an additional fee (there is no cost for wireless connectivity). Students may contact the Information Technology Help Desk to request the activation of a network port. Some residence halls, such as 18th Street Commons, are not equipped with wired network ports; therefore only wireless connectivity is offered.

What software will I need for my computer?

See software requirements for more information.

Can I set up my own wireless access point in my residence hall room?

No. Students are NOT permitted to use network hubs, switches, routers or wireless access points in university-owned housing. Doing so will compromise the security of the campus local area network (LAN). It could also prevent other students in your residence hall from accessing the LAN from their computers. Only wireless access points installed by the university may be used.

Does Susquehanna provide support for student computers?

Support is provided, on a limited basis, for viruses and networking by contacting the Information Technology Help Desk at 570-372-4502 or helpdesk@susqu.edu to make an appointment. You will be required to bring your computer to the Information Technology Help Desk located in the lower level of the library. The help desk does not supply any software to students, except for Symantec Endpoint Protection (antivirus software). Students can make appointments to be assisted with other inquiries on a limited basis when staffing is available. The help desk will assist students with contacting technical support from their computer’s manufacturer for hardware failures as a courtesy by appointment only. Students should rely on their warranty and service contract obtained at the time the computer was purchased. In the event that the service contract has expired, there are several local computer stores that provide general computer support. The Information Technology Help Desk is able to facilitate a higher level of support on our recommended models of enterprise-class Dell and Apple computers.

Are game consoles, media players and other network devices permitted on the network?

Gaming systems (Nintendo Wii, Xbox360, Playstation 3, etc.), and media devices (smart TVs and DVD players, Roku and Apple TV streaming boxes, etc.) are permitted on the network and do not require registration. You may contact the Information Technology Help Desk if you have trouble connecting these devices when you arrive; however support on these devices is limited. Remember, the residence halls (except Liberty Alley and avenue housing) are 100 percent wireless so you will need to have a wireless adapter to connect your game console, media player, etc. Device-to-device communication is not supported (personal WiFi printing, sharing media from computer to media player, Airplay, home file sharing, etc.).

Is it possible to get financial assistance to purchase a computer?

A limited number of university loans are available to students who demonstrate significant financial need for the purchase of a personal computer that meets the recommended university specifications. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 570-372-4450 or sufinaid@susqu.edu.

How long do I get to keep my "@susqu.edu" email address?

All student email is hosted by Gmail with an @susqu.edu email address. Students will be able to retain their @susqu.edu Gmail account permanently after graduation.

Is wireless Internet access available on campus?

Yes. Currently the majority of Susquehanna’s campus is already covered by wireless, including all academic buildings and common areas, such as the campus center and parts of the library. All student residence halls (except Liberty Alley and avenue housing) are 100 percent wireless. Wireless network improvements are currently being planned for areas not currently covered with wireless access. Please refer back to the FAQs for future updates. Click here for a campus Wi-Fi map.

What are the different wireless networks and which one should I connect to?

Crusader: Crusader should be used by all members of the Susquehanna University community for any computer, tablet or smart phone. Crusader offers full network access, is configured for faster Internet speeds, is secure, and does not require users to re-register every 24 hours like the guest network.

SU-Guest: SU-Guest is mostly intended for guests of the university. It does not have Susquehanna network access; it only has basic Internet access. Computers will have limited Internet speed, and security is not guaranteed. Additionally, SU-Guest will drop computers after being connected for 24 hours, requiring the user to re-register. Students using computers on the SU-Guest network for extended periods of time could be blocked from the network. The exception is game systems that don’t support WPA2-Enterprise security. Select SU-Guest for gaming or media systems. The network can differentiate between a computer and gaming/media systems and will recognize these devices to allow specialized access, which will not be impacted by the speed and registration restrictions. SU-Guest should only be used for actual guests OR to connect gaming and media devices.

Susquehanna: The legacy wireless network is still available in many buildings. Registration and credentials are not required. This network will be slowly phased out as it is replaced with Crusader.

SU WiFi: A special use network—if you connect to this network, you will not have Internet connectivity.

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

Please call the Information Technology Help Desk at 570-372-4502. The hours are Monday–Thursday 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Fridays 7 a.m.–5 p.m. (Summer: Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–noon, 1–4 p.m.). If no one is available to take your call, please leave a voicemail and a staff member will be in contact with you as soon as possible. You may also email the help desk at helpdesk@susqu.edu. Current Information Technology instructions and additional information can be found on mySU.

– updated 9/2/2013




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