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Student Housing's ResNet Program Popular Among Residents
by Randall Watanabe

Three years ago, the UH Manoa Student Housing Services began a pilot project to provide Internet connectivity directly into the residence hall rooms of approximately fifty residents. This project, now known as ResNet, began with just one student employee who manually connected residents with patch cables and static IPs. After some early successes, Student Housing Services realized the importance of the ResNet program and allocated the resources necessary to make it succeed. The program has since expanded, and with the help of ITS, Student Housing is making a concerted effort to provide high-speed Internet access to the room of every resident by 2002.

ResNet already provides fast and secure Internet connections to the residents of four residence halls: Hale Aloha Mokihana, Hale Aloha Ilima, Hale Anuenue, and the International Gateway House. There are a total of 19 buildings that are managed by Student Housing services. The ResNet staff consists of one full time employee and a well-trained group of more than fifteen student employees.

The growth and popularity of the ResNet has presented unique challenges to those managing and maintaining the network. After seeing the potential damage and loss of service that could be caused by a single user, hardware and software for the ResNet were upgraded to guarantee stable and dependable network service for the residents, as well as to track and discipline malicious users.

Perhaps one of the most surprising benefits of the project is the sense of community that has developed among many residents. Once provided with the Internet connection, residents quickly learn that the network is a great resource for sharing files and information with each other. Instant messaging and gaming applications help to build and nurture this sense of community within the ResNet-enabled rooms. The network acts as a tool to help friends communicate and bring together residents who would not have otherwise met.

Due in part to the warm reception of the ResNet program, Student Housing has expanded its services by making a computer cluster available during popular student studying hours. The computer cluster is located on the first floor of Gateway House and is open to Student Housing residents only. It is filled with high performance personal computers, currently eight PCs and a Macintosh, with more PCs to be added in the near future. The computer cluster is designed to accommodate group meetings and will be used as a tool to further facilitate a sense of community among all residents. In addition to common uses such as word processing, programming, and Web browsing, the computer cluster will also be used to provide computer training, recreational gaming, and serve as a center of operations for the ResNet support team.

Hours of operation of the Student Housing Computer Cluster for fall 2000 are:

    Monday - Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - midnight
    Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Sunday: 5:00 p.m. - midnight
    The computer cluster is closed on holidays. Hours are subject to change.

This fall semester is an exciting one at the Student Housing residence halls. With new faces, new equipment, new services, and a new outlook, the ResNet program continues to be a success. Visit our ResNet home page at www.housing.hawaii.edu/resnet for more information.

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