ITS head talks tech to MUSG

Jackie Palank

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Marquette was hit Monday by a number of viruses, said Kathy Lang, chief information officer for Information Technology Services.

In an effort to reach students concerning the viruses and other technological issues, Lang spoke at the Oct. 30 Marquette Student government’s weekly meeting.

“About the time students came in August, we noticed huge amounts of viruses,” Lang said. “The Emarq system blocks 40,000 viruses daily, and after that amount is reached the counter stops. So many viruses were received that the counter started over.”

Lang confirmed 60 ports at Schroeder Hall were shut down after sending out large amounts of spam but would not comment on how many computers have been shut down due to spam or viral activity since the beginning of the school year.

“It is a constant job,” Lang said of the work ITS does to monitor students’ computer use.

Lang also would not comment on the number of students who have been identified as illegally downloading music or films off the Internet this school year, but said the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America notifies Marquette when illegal downloads occur.

She said that when viruses, spam or illegal downloads are identified, ITS sends students a letter giving them 48 hours to stop and clean out their computer or ITS will shut them down.

Marquette’s new online data system, CheckMarq, was another topic of discussion.

Lang said getting the CheckMarq system up and running was currently a “huge priority for the university” and showed students sample Web pages, including links to register for classes online.

“I’m excited about CheckMarq, but it’s unfortunate I don’t ever get to see it,” said senior Paul Bergl, MUSG executive vice president. “The university is connecting with students the way students connect with the world — through the Internet.”

According to Lang, Marquette is finally catching up to other schools that already have an online registration system.

“87.5 percent of American private colleges and universities had online registration a year ago,” she said. “But the new software system, which integrates many facets of student and administrative data, will place Marquette ahead of the curve because most of these schools only have online registration.”

Exact figures were not given concerning how much money the university would save by condensing so much data in one place, but Lang said the university will save 425,000 sheets of paper printed each month.

In order to improve the job that ITS was doing, Lang said, the department would need better communication with the students.

Senior Kate Agnew, MUSG president, said she was impressed with the thoroughness of Lang’s presentation.

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