Guests at Grand Valley have access to free Wi-Fi

Students, faculty and staff at Grand Valley State University may connect to the wireless Internet on a daily basis without even thinking about it, but guests of the university have to do a little more to access the Wi-Fi.

Sue Korzinek, director of Information Technology, said the current process of obtaining a password for a guest account began in August 2012. Korzinek said it is free for students, faculty and staff members to go to the Guest Sponsor Portal, which they can access from the IT website. Here, they can request as many accounts as they need for their campus guests.

“A person requesting a guest account typically would have a connection to GVSU, i.e. a vendor on campus, a guest of a student or staff or faculty member,” Korzinek said. “There are no restrictions on who can get a guest account.”

She added that guests are emailed a password they can use multiple times for the duration of the account. The computer randomly generates a new password for each guest to make the process more secure.

“Since the login ID and password are unique to each guest, it is not necessary to implement a password change for the one- to five-day duration of the guest account,” Korzinek said.

Although guests can access the wireless from anywhere on any of GVSU’s campuses, Korzinek said there are some limitations. First, they must be aware of and adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy that they will see when they first login. Second, they are restricted to only using the Wi-Fi for the Internet, which means they cannot access printing or other network capabilities. There is no maximum number of guests, but IT keeps a record for 30 days of the guests who have used the network.

This service for guests does not cost the university extra, Korzinek said. In addition, having guests on the university’s Wi-Fi will not slow it down.

The IT department can aid guests in setting up accounts through the Allendale and Pew Helpdesks.

John Wezeman, Helpdesk supervisor, said he assists guests in creating an account if they are not with a GVSU student, faculty or staff member. Despite this service, Wezeman said few guests have come in looking to get access.

“We have not had many requests for access,” he said. “Typically, they will get guest access from the person they are seeing at GVSU.”