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University takes appropriate steps to aid Internet-savvy students

Sept. 11, 1996

The issue:

The University recently implemented a service for all students to have their own home pages on Baylor server.

Our view:

This is a step in the right direction as the Internet becomes a larger factor in our everyday lives.

The hype and hysteria of the Internet can be seen and felt nearly everywhere in America today. TV commercials and magazine and newspaper ads seem to be ending with a World Wide Web site rather than a phone number.

As a university, Baylor was already connected to the Internet when its popularity skyrocketed several years ago. Upgrades and new equipment continue to be installed in an effort to keep up with an industry that changes by the week, if not by day.

So far, the administration and computing staff have attempted to provide Baylor students with the latest in Internet services. For BearIDs, they implemented the first name, underscore, then last name method. From electronic mail to computer access, the superiority of this system to a variety of characters and letters is evident. Friends at other universities can easily send an e-mail to you as long as they can remember your name -- no long, hard-to-remember strings for e-mail addresses as some online services and other universities require for access.

In addition to e-mail addresses, the new trend is for a person to have his or her own web site. Baylor met that need at the beginning of this semester when the Center for Computing and Information Systems implemented university-wide web accounts for all.

David Seago, a systems analyst with CCIS, said he hasn't received much response to it yet; however, more than 60 students have included themselves on a list, which can be accessed through the main Baylor web site (www.baylor.edu). Students do have the option of uploading a page to the universities server without actually listing it.

Seago said the University purchased new hardware for the specifically that purpose, and students are allowed a maximum of five megabytes of room, which Seago said is more than most will need.

The Hankamer School of Business continues to offer space on its server for a web site for students who have paid the business school computer fee, but the new university-wide service available at no charge is definitely a step in the right direction for campus Internet services since it offers access to all students.

Sometime in the future, Seago said students will have access to their student information via the Internet. Perhaps this service will offer the same depth of services available through Student Stuff in the on-campus labs.

Information and instructions can be accessed through Baylor's home page.

Another online service that will be accessible soon to students and alumni at no cost is the Baylor Alumni Association's web site. Alan Bowden, coordinator of online communication, said within a month, the current forum on CompuServe will be transferred to a web site, which will increase the accessibility to students and alumni.

One key piece to the University's system that is still missing is student dial-up access. Business school lab users have access, but the limited number of lines makes that service almost impractical at peak times.

Texas A&M and the University of Texas both give students the ability to dial in and have access to Internet services such as e-mail and the web. We hope that Baylor is poised to implement such a service soon. Not only would it be more convenient for students with computers in their dorm rooms or apartments, the service would also alleviate some of the traffic that congests the campus labs during the semester.

What the future holds for computers is often times a guess; however, we challenge the University to continue exposing students to new services and technology.

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