Student Network disconnects, Net ID expirations and Microsoft Office 365 error messages — oh my! No matter how tech savvy someone is, a new network means new problems that can take hours to solve. However, Fairfield University offers the free ITS4U Help Desk in the DiMenna–Nyselius Library, as well as a connecting tech-help phone service, to help find solutions for many of the computer based issues a student might face.
ITS gets repair visits or phone calls from students, faculty and staff alike throughout the year. Despite the immense amount of support they offer for all different computer issues, the ITS staff members as a whole were easily able to identify the three most common repair orders they are consistently approached about throughout the year: lost or malfunctioning Net ID passwords, Network Registration and obtaining Microsoft Office 365.
“After winter break last year, I came back to campus and realized I got disconnected from the school system,” said Grace Williams ’21. “I went to ITS and they fixed the problem really quickly, and they also took me right away, which was great since I was busy with beginning of the semester stuff.”
One of the IT members who recognized this trend, graduate student Nicole Kwasnaza ’18 MA ‘19, has worked with IT since her junior year and now holds the senior technician position at the Help Desk.
“It usually only takes us a few minutes to fix these problems, but it can be longer depending on how and when we are contacted,” said Kwasnaza. “For example, it does take longer over the phone as the applications need to download and we can’t see the screens to help the process.”
But the Help desk cannot be open all of the time. Computer crashes cannot be scheduled and, especially during the first week of a school year, the desk can be backed up as first-years try to connect to the system for the first time. When this occurs, the Help Desk has a system in place, called the Information Technology Services Knowledgebase, where students can troubleshoot their own computer issues until, if assistance is still needed, the desk opens again or is less backed up.
“We have a website, which you can access by searching wiki.fairfield.edu, that has templates that walk students through how to connect to the network, recover forgotten passwords and download Office 365,” Kwasnaza said. “I wish more students knew about it. We send an email out around move-in day every year with the link.”
However, many students are unaware that this website exists.
“I had no clue there was a website!” said Allison Isola ’21, a past user of the IT desk. “When I went to IT as a freshman, it was easy to find, but there were a lot of people waiting for help and that could have been helpful.”
While this website is helpful, there are a number of other things students can do to make their computer experience more pleasant and make the use of the ITS4U help desk, website and phone line unnecessary.
One ITS department staff suggestion is to not ignore Net ID reset emails when they are initially received. This is one of the biggest and most easily preventable issues the Help Desk is contacted for. Once a Net ID expires, it takes longer to create a new password than if you had done so before the expiration date mentioned in the email.