Students Required to Login to Network Using Cisco Clean Access Agent, Creates Problems

Students and faculty have continued to have difficulty logging-in and connecting to the Internet.

Some students feel that the new system has added confusing features such as different ways of accessing mail.

David Hasbany, Associate Director of Technology and Telecommunications, was unable to be reached for comment.

Natalia Slattery ’13 thought the old email client was “easier to understand.”

“Before, you just clicked on your mail and got your mail, instead of having to double click [with the email] popping up in a separate window on the side” she said. “Then you have ten pages open, and you don’t know how they got there,” she said.

A few students have reported having trouble with the new Cisco Clean Access Agent, which verifies the presence of school-provided anti-virus programs before students can log onto the Internet. For Windows computers the Cisco Clean Access Agent determines whether the computer meets the security standards set by the Technology Department, according to Kevin Song ’11.

Chris Yang ’12 thought the agent was restrictive and the agent’s need for students to re-login, every time their Internet connection is disrupted, was a “a struggle.”

According to the Technology Office’s start-of-school letter to students, “if the client is removed or the requirements are not met, the computer is prevented from connecting to the network.”

Nicole Ng ’13 recently experienced a problem with the new system because she was not able to access any websites, despite logging in to the Cisco Clean Access Agent. She said that the browser would always direct her back to the original registration page.

Someone from the Technology Office came to her dorm to fix her computer problem, which eventually took three days to solve. “I was really frustrated,” Ng said, noting that her new connection has been a little slower despite the assistance.

Other students feel the Cisco Clean Access is too intrusive.

Ng said, “[The Clean Access Agent] makes it seem like someone is monitoring you.”

“I think [the Cisco Clean Access Agent] is a bit of a nuisance because you can’t just get on in the morning to check your mail, five minutes before you need to leave for class because now you have to wait for the [agent] to load,” Ng added.

The Cisco Clean Agent also requires students to log in every time they shut their computer or remove their Ethernet cord.

Dan Moroz ’11 called the Cisco Clean Access Agent a “massive hassle,” and Sam Koffman ’13 disliked the fact that students are required to re-login each time their connection is interrupted.

“It’s a pain to have to keep entering my name and password,” Koffman said, adding that the agent often slows down the performance of his computer.

He continued, “I also don’t like having foreign security systems on my computer.”

Goody Gibbins ’11 said that she had to relaunch Google Chrome each time the agent popped up, which caused her to lose all her previous browser tabs.

Students also were annoyed because they were unsure of why the Technology Office decided to implement the agent.

Elisa Li ’11 said, “They added Cisco for a reason, probably for security, but people don’t really realize what it’s for,” Li said. “I guess I don’t really mind [the agent]. I just stick in my Ethernet cord and log in.”

Despite the difficulties, not all feedback regarding the new Internet policies has been negative.

Jamieson also thought that system was a “good safety precaution” but still found it annoying to have to re-login every time her connection was interrupted.