WSU sets up new guest Wi-Fi system

Login process will require only email for guest visitors



ITS Communication Coordinator, Jacqueline Southwick, discusses the expansion of Wi-Fi capabilities on the Pullman campus Friday afternoon in the Information Technology building.

DAISY ZAVALA, Evergreen managing editor

The Information Technology Services (ITS) partnered with Residence Life on Friday to simplify the method guests use to connect to the WSU Wi-Fi services.

Jacqueline Southwick, ITS communication coordinator, said this new method allows guests to access the guest Wi-Fi immediately. They don’t need to go through an outside resource and wait for access.

Guests can access the Wi-Fi by clicking on the WSU guest Wi-Fi on their device, Southwick said. They will be prompted to enter an email address, and their device will walk them through the steps to set up their connection.

“It’s much more mobile-friendly,” she said.

 The new method uses ClearPass, a tool used to access the guest Wi-Fi through a wireless device, Southwick said.

The process to implement ClearPass was completed Thursday and went into effect Friday, Southwick said.

Sasi Pillay, ITS vice president and chief information officer said ITS holds periodic meetings with Residence Life to integrate their ideas.

The simpler the services are, the easier it is for students and faculty to access them, he said.

Southwick said the simplified and standardized access to the Wi-Fi also extends to the parents of students and other visitors.

“If a parent comes to visit their student in the dorm, they can do it while they’re in the dorm if they’re at a football game. If they’re here for a campus tour, they can set themselves up with any email address and they’re ready to go,” Southwick said.

Pillay said ITS looks at its services and assesses how they could improve them. ITS found that ClearPass is a tool that could be used to integrate the older hardware with newer hardware.

“Basically it’s a methodology by which we can evaluate the devices and authenticate devices connecting to our network,” he said.

Pillay said the connection to the Wi-Fi services in the previous system was made difficult due to the multitude of different devices students wanted to connect to it.

ClearPass includes the ability to connect to multiple devices from different manufacturers, he said. It also supports multiple protocols depending on how the user connects to the Wi-Fi services.

Pillay said this method was implemented in the WSU Spokane campus first and worked well.

“Once we had positive results in the deployment in Spokane, we were able to move forward with our implementation here,” he said.

Pillay said the department is hoping to expand this method to other WSU campuses as well.