Communication & Collaboration

Cable TV

Amherst College supplies cable TV to all dorm rooms and many other spaces on campus. For the full list of channels, please see the Amherst Cable TV Channel Lineup.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

In addition to conventional entertainment, news, and sports programming, the cable TV system delivers international channels in Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic. 

Requirements: 

The cable TV system works with any digital TV that has a QAM tuner and accepts a coaxial cable input.

Resources: 

Contact the IT Help Desk to report a problem or get more information. 

Additional Information: 

See information from our service provider on how to Troubleshoot Cable TV Problems.

Email and Calendaring

Amherst students, faculty, and staff automatically receive an Amherst email mailbox when they join the College. Casual employees receive a mailbox at the request of their supervisor. Student organizations can request an email account or a listserv mailing list by using the Campus Center's student organization registration form.

The College email servers run Microsoft Exchange, which provides Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and other functions. Your messages and other data remain on the server until you explicitly delete them.

For best operation and access to College calendars, we recommend you use Microsoft Outlook for Windows or Macintosh.

For those who want email only and do not need to use College calendars, we also fully support IMAP email applications such as Mozilla Thunderbird.

For quick email checks—especially when travelling—use the online version of Amherst email, Web Mail, the Outlook Web App (OWA).

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Because your Amherst email is stored on our server,  you see the same messages, contacts, and calendar appointments regardless of whether you access your email from your office, home, or another location.

Students have a 1 GB email quota; faculty and staff have unlimited email storage.

Requirements: 

To access your email via the web interface Outlook Web App (OWA), you need an Internet connection and a web browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer (IE), Chrome, or Opera.

Supported computer email clients are Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 for Windows, and Outloook 2011 for the Mac; Mail for Mac; and Thunderbird for both Windows and Mac.

On a mobile device, to access your Amherst email add an account and if possible/available select Exchange or Microsoft Exchange as the account type to add (other variations of the account type description might include ActiveSync, CorporateSync, or MAPI).

If your device does not offer Exchange or one of the variations listed above as an account type, opt to configure the email manually or set up as an IMAP account type.

Getting Started: 

Access Amherst Email Online using Web Mail

The website address for Amherst email online - Web Mail - is mail.amherst.edu.

Access Amherst Web Mail from the Amherst website by cilcking Tools top right corner of any page then Web Mail.

Set Up Amherst Email by type of Mobile Device

Set Up Amherst Email by Email Client

 

Additional Information: 

 

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education provides collaborative online workspaces for all students, faculty, and staff.

Currently enabled for the College's instance of Google Apps for Education are

  • Google Apps
  • Google Drive
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Hangouts
Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Unlimited Storage: Google Drive offers unlimited storage for files, folders, backups and everything you consider of importance.

Collaborate: When you share a Google Docs file on your Google Drive, you and your collaborators can view and edit the file simultaneously.

Share files: You can easily share any file on your Google Drive with anyone else who has a Google account.

Live Collaboration: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Hangouts allow for real-time collaboration on documents or presentations.

Your files available from anywhere: Files you put on your Google Drive are accessible to you from any computer that has a web browser and an internet connection. 

Sync files: If you regularly use two (or more) computers, tablets and/or smart phones, you can install Google Drive software on each and automatically sync your files, thus letting you work on the same files from any of your devices. Note that files in Google Docs format do not sync; rather, your local Google Drive folder contains links to the online location of your Google Docs files.

Large file transfers: Most email systems (such as the College's) limit the size of attachments, but Google Drive lets you share any sized file.
Note:
You can also use the Amherst College FileSender utility for large size file transfers.

Web Conferencing: Google Hangouts allows for web conferencing to take place with up to 15 participants.

Requirements: 

Google Apps for Education is accessible with any web browser, though some advanced features only work with Google Chrome.

Additional Information: 

Limitations

File Recovery: Google Apps doesn't use Amherst College servers, so we have no way to examine the contents of your Google Drive or recover lost or accidentally deleted files. You can use Google Drive software on your Mac and Windows computers, and your Andoid and iOS devices, to automatically sync standard files with your online Google Drive. However, because you can't sync files that are in Google Docs format (see above), these files exist on your Google Drive only. If you want a backup of a Google Docs file, you need to use the Download function to create a copy on your computer.

Data Security:We strongly recommend that you do not store files containing sensitive College data--including data covered by FERPA, HIPAA, and the Massachusetts data security act--on any non-College server, including your Google Drive.

File Formats: You can share any type of file on your Google Drive, but can only work collaboratively on files that are created or converted to Google Docs format.

Other Apps: Google Apps for Education includes many other apps such as Calendar, Sites, etc. We expect to expand our ACApps offerings in the future.

Chromebooks

A Chromebook is a low-cost, specialized notebook computer that runs Google's ChromeOS, a computer operating system based upon the Chrome browser. Chromebooks are optimized to work with Google Drive. If you have any questions about using a Chromebook with your Google Apps account, please contact the IT Help Desk at AskIT @amherst.edu.

VidYo videoconferencing

VidYo allows users to connect from Amherst to the outside world via high-quality video with an easy-to-use interface. Connectability from our 2-camera face-tracking PolyCom systems enhance your experience even further. If you would like to try Vidyo, please contact John Kunhardt at jwkunhardt at amherst.edu or by calling 413 542-2149.

Campus Phones

Amherst College maintains a Siemens PBX telephone system that provides unrestricted access from most academic and administrative offices, and restricted access from most building entrance phones, dormitory hallway phones and outdoor emergency phones.

Telephone types in use include Siemens digital models, various wired analog models, and 900MHz and 5.8GHz cordless models. 2.4GHz cordless telephones are not permitted, because they interfere with collegiate use of wireless data networks on campus.

Audience: 
Faculty
Staff
Getting Started: 

Orders for new equipment and/or services must be placed through the appropriate departmental contact. In most cases, this will be your department's academic or administrative assistant, but in some cases this responsibility is held by the department chair or department head. We can accept orders only from authorized individuals.

Additional Information: 

Headsets

If there is a proven medical (and HR reviewed and approved) reason for a headset for someone expected to spend a lot of time on the telephone, the cost may be covered by the College. Otherwise, headset purchases must be paid out of departmental funds.

Listserv

A listserv allows a sender to send email to a list of subscribers. Amherst College uses listserv software developed by L-Soft. The listserv management software provides some additional spam protection for the listservs.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 
  • Listservs have their own email addresses in the format LISTSERVNAME-L at listserv.amherst.edu.
  • Listserv messages can be archived and the archived messages accessed as needed.
  • Options for listserv settings include
    • discussion listserv where subscribers can receive messages from and send messages to the listserv
    • moderated discussion listserv where any messages sent to the listserv must first be reviewed by the moderator then released for sending to the listserv 
    • announcement listserv where only specified senders can send messages to the listserv and all the subscribers receive those messages
Getting Started: 

Faculty and staff who want to request a new listserv or make changes to an existing listserv for Amherst College or Five Colleges please fill out the Listserv Request Form.

Amherst College students who want to request a new listserv or make changes to an exisiting listserv for their student organization or club, must first register your student organization. New student organizations must register when starting up and exisitng organizations must re-register at the start of each academic year. Once registered, officers from student organizations may fill out the Listserv Request Form to request a new listserv or make changes to an existing listserv.

If you are a listserv owner, go to the Listserv Manager website to set up your password and manage your listserv including reviewing, adding or deleting subscribers and accessing archived messages. Contact the Amherst IT Help at AskIT @amherst.edu or 413-542-2526 with any questions.

Additional Information: 

As with all Amherst IT and network resources, those using listservs must abide by the Amherst College Electronic Resources Acceptable Use Poilcy.

Voicemail/Integrated Messaging

The College's voicemail system integrates the voicemail on your campus phone with your email. When someone leaves you a voicemail, the system sends you an email with the message attached. You can retrieve messages using either your phone or by accessing your email.

Audience: 
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

The system lets you manage your voice messages using either your phone or by accessing your email.

If you delete a voice message on your phone, the corresponding email is moved from your Inbox to your Deleted Items folder.

When you read an email containing a voice message, the message is deleted from your phone. Note that it is only necessary to open the message to delete if from your phone--it isn't necessary to actually listen to the attached file. Be careful if you use the Reading Pane on your email Inbox as doing so may automatically delete voicemail messages from both your email and your voicemail.

When you move a voice message from your Inbox to another email folder--whether you've read the message or not--the voice message is deleted from your phone.

If you move a voice message from an email folder back to your Inbox and then mark the message as unread, the message will again appear in the voice mailbox of your phone.

Requirements: 

Integrated voice and email messaging only works with the campus phone system.

Getting Started: 

The Use the Voicemail System knowledge base article provides detailed voicemail instructions.

Contact IT Communications & Infrastructure with any questions or for assistance.

    • Email TNG@amherst.edu
    • Call 413-542-2410
Resources: 
Additional Information: 

See the New Voicemail System webpage for information about the change in voicemail systems that occurred in August 2013.

Seeley Mudd 002 Video/Web Conference Room

Room 002 in the Seeley Mudd building, basement level, is an IT Department conference room. It seats 10 people and is available for use for video or web conferences. The Seeley Mudd building and this room are fully accessible via the front or quad-side entrance and with use of the elevator. There are dedicated handicapped parking spaces around the quad and one dedicated handicapped parking space in front of Seeley Mudd.

Audience: 
Faculty
Staff
Getting Started: 
  • To view a schedule of the room availablity see the SMUDD Room 002 Schedule.
  • Contact Carol Orrell caorrell at amherst.edu in advance to reserve the room for meetings.
  • Contact John Kunhardt or email atsvideo at amherst.edu in advance to reserve the room for video or web conferences.
  • For video or web conferences, you should plan to make your own conference arrangments or please contact the IT Help Desk if you wish to use the College-licensed WebEx web conference software.
  • When you reserve the room for video conference use, all necessary equipment will be provided and set up by someone from Multimedia Services. The equipment includes a large monitor, camera, speakers and teleconference phone.

 

WebEx

WebEx is the video conferencing service provided by Cisco. The IT department licenses the service and makes it available to members of the community upon request.

Audience: 
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Unlike video chat services such as Skype, WebEx lets you set up multi-point conferences, not just point-to-point communications. And WebEx also has advanced features such as screen sharing, which lets others in the conference see and collaborate on your computer screen.

Getting Started: 

Please contact Linda Allen in IT Support Services for more information about WebEx

FileSender

FileSender is an Amherst College utility that lets you send and receive files that are normally rejected by email systems as being too large.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Lets you send and receive massive files that email systems can't handle.

Lets you send file to--and receive files from--people who do not have Amherst accounts.

By using FileSender instead of your email or AC Apps, you are not using up valuable space on those systems.

Requirements: 

You need a web browser to access the service. If you are enabling a non-Amherst person to send you a file, you also need their email address.

Getting Started: 

Access the FileSender utility at http://filesender.amherst.edu.

Phone services for students

There are three options for telephone service on the Amherst College campus.

  1. Bring a cell phone from home or obtain one locally upon your arrival.
  2. Order wired residential phone service for your dormitory room from Verizon.
  3. Voice over IP (VoIP--see below).

With the second option, which requires you to supply your own telephone, 2.4GHz cordless telephones are not allowed, as they can cause interference with wireless data networks.

Residential phone service for your dorm room may be ordered from Verizon by calling (800) 837-4966 or by visiting www.verizon.com. Verizon suggests placing your order approximately two weeks before service is needed. Be advised that installation delays are likely. The College will facilitate Verizon's access to campus telephone wiring after a student has ordered residential phone service from Verizon.

Audience: 
Students
Getting Started: 

Cellular Companies (partial list): Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel

Dialing Procedures: vary widely depending on what kind of phone you use

Verizon Residential Service: service ordering details and more

VoIP: general information and support policy

Additional Information: 

AT&T and Verizon Wireless have antennae on campus.  Sprint/Nextel and T-Mobile have cell towers in town but off-campus, so their service is weaker and sometimes intermittent.

Alumni Email Forwarding

Upon request, the College will provide any alumnus or alumna with a forwarding email address in the form:
amherst_username@alumni.amherst.edu

Audience: 
Alumni
Features and Benefits: 

The alumni forwarding email service lets you publish a single email address that doesn't change, not matter how many 'real' email accounts you have.

Don't confuse your alumni forwarding address with a mailbox. It is simply a pointer to your real email box.

Requirements: 

You must be an alum of the College--or a soon to be alum--in order to take advantage of this service.

Getting Started: 

You can request an alumni forwarding address or change your forwarding target address on the Amherst College Alumni website.

Meet-Me Teleconferencing

Meet-Me teleconferencing provides a toll-free number that you share with your teleconferencing participants. Whoever calls the number is automatically conferenced into the call.

Audience: 
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

Inexpensive: Compared to the costs associated with travel, Meet-Me is a bargain at seven cents per minute per participant.

Convenient: You can schedule your conference call in advance by sharing the date and time of the call, the toll-free number, and the participant PIN code with your participants.

Requirements: 

To use Meet-Me you need the toll-free number that you send to the participants, a moderator PIN code for yourself, and a participant PIN code to share with the participants.

Charges for conferencing services are billed through the monthly phone bill that your department receives from the College.

Getting Started: 

Contact the College's phone and voicemail support line at x2410 ((413) 542-2410) to arrange a Meet-Me teleconference.