HomeNewsIT department rolls out new secure campus network

IT department rolls out new secure campus network

Returning students and faculty might have noticed a recent change in TJC’s Wi-Fi network. What was once Apache Gold is now split between TJC-Secure and TJC-Guest. The networks went live on Jan. 4 in preparation for the new school semester. 

According to Chief Information Officer, Kristi Cuellar, the project to update the school networks started a little over a year ago due to security concerns across the country. 

Returning students and staff are required to use their TJC-issued A number or email to access the new TJC-Secure network. For any guests on campus, the Wi-Fi network 
TJC-Guest is available without entering a username or password; however the guest network is not as secure, according to Chief Information Officer Kristi Cuellar. This change has been in the works for a little over a year after cyber safety concerns were brought up to Cuellar’s department. This new roll out has not had any abnormal problems, IT says, only regular start-of-the-semester problems that have been fixed the same day.
Photo by Leigh Meyers.

“Basically, TJC-Secure is for company-owned devices, and also for faculty, staff and students that have A numbers,” Cuellar said. “They log in, it recognizes their A number, and it puts them in the correct container for the right permissions.”

Student housing is expected to transfer over to an updated network over the course of next summer. As of now, the networks student residences provide are separate from TJC-Secure and TJC-Guest.

“That’s their home, you know, they have a lot more devices that they’re connecting with, they have like Roku, Xboxes, PlayStations, things like that,” Cuellar said. “We wanted to go ahead and phase it in over our main campus and instructional locations, so they could go ahead and get accustomed to how it works.”

Following the recent order from Gov. Greg Abbott to ban the social media platform TikTok from government-issued networks and devices, students and faculty across Texas have been seeing restricted access to the platform while on school campuses.

TikTok will not be available for use on company-owned devices at TJC. 

Personal devices will be unaffected by the TikTok ban.

 Ceullar states that TJC has yet to receive notice from the government or any other state agency to block the app on student networks. There are no current plans to enforce a block on student networks until TJC receives notice to do so, according to Cueller.

As with any new semester, there have been a few problems getting certain devices to work on the new Wi-Fi.

“I only had one issue and IT solved it immediately,” Library Systems Administrator, Daniel McKenzie said.

According to IT Service Desk Manager, Clinton Gordon, the amount of support tickets sent to the IT service office has been normal for the start of a semester and have lowered since. Student workers in Vaughn Library report no complications.

“We haven’t gotten any complaints,” Mei Vel, sophomore of psychology and student worker said.

Students in need of technical services can visit tjc.edu or the Technology Services Office in White Administration.

Leigh Meyers gives us a closer look into TJC’s new Wi-Fi networks and policies surrounding TikTok.

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