The Way Things Work: [Student-Info]

“Now everyone will know to come to my senior thesis show!”

You may be one of the roughly 1,600 Kenyon students who receives a daily barrage of emails with the heading “Student-Info” in the subject line. I know, I know, who authorized the school to send us spam? But don’t panic; the Thrill is here to explain the meaning of these constant communications. And just so you know, our information is legit. Everything reported below comes straight from Ron Griggs, VP of LBIS and overlord of your email.

A Brief(ish) History

Long, long ago,  when email was spelled with a hyphen (the early 90’s),  it wasn’t so easy to shoot an email to your professor to beg for a paper extension. Email accounts weren’t for everyone. Usually they were only given to students in the natural sciences, because they were most likely to be using computer software for their work. But early on, Kenyon decided to give all of its students email accounts. And as soon as Kenyon students received email accounts, they  began to use them constantly. (To this day, Kenyon uses email more than its peer institutions).

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LBIS Getting Rid of Complexity Rules in Favor of Longer Passwords

(Wikimedia Commons)

Vice President for LBIS Ron Griggs alerted us to this article from Kenyon Today detailing the College’s changing standards for the passwords used to log into Kenyon computers and networks. While we previously had to use a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and punctuation when crafting passwords, those requirements are being thrown out in favor of the rule that all passwords must be at least 14 characters long.

The idea encourages coming up with longer phrases that are easier to remember than a password that is half numbers, half tildes. In the article, Griggs suggests using lines from favorite songs, works of literature or movies in order to meet the length requirement, so we look forward to opening The Great Gatsby every time we need to reset our passwords. Although these letters-only passwords may seem simpler to humans, they are actually more difficult for nefarious computer programs to crack.

The change takes effect on January 1, but you won’t be required to change your password to meet the requirements until your old one expires. Here’s a useful website that helps you test the strength of your passwords.