[hackerspaces] Student hackers in a university environment

Eureka eureka at fusionnetwork.us
Fri May 28 17:52:44 CEST 2010

I can second that. College IT is (in my experience) going to either be 
really nice and try to help you out...or they will curse you to the depths.
Then again, it really is who you end up working with. I find that the 
guys that repair systems on campus are usually a really good resource. 
They are nice and a little hackerish themselves.
I would suggest you talk with them some about what you are working on or 
even trying to get some old hardware for a project. I know the guys at 
the University here have been a huge help to me in the past.

If you are hoping to get a university to allow students to "Pen Test" 
the network I would tread softly, a lot of .edu network people have a 
more of a shoot first - ask later personality. Im sure we have all seen 
the articles about the guy just trying to help out and sending email to 
a .edu admin only to either be kicked out of school or have charges 
brought against them.
One suggestion for this would be to setup a demo lab to show them what 
you can do. Just make sure its computers NOT connected to their network 
until you get the OK (in writing!).

At my school the "Help Desk" is almost exclusively a student job as well 
as the "pc tech/lab tech". This can be nice but I have noticed they tend 
to hire people that are either on financial aid or don't really know 
much more than "This is how to print in MS office".

Good luck with your talk, Our hackerspace is working to get students 
interested and maybe having a club on campus that dose basically the 
same thing as our group but as an Registered Student Organization (RSO). 
We have had several of the clubs ask us to make them cool toys (lighting 
rigs, little micro projects..some other random stuff). One good thing 
that has given us is to show the rest of the students what we can do 
(spark interest) and has the IT group at least a little less uptight 
about us calling ourselves a "Hackerspace". (Remember the media tells 
everyone were all evil!).


On 05/28/2010 08:40 AM, Matt Joyce wrote:
> When I was in college, I became pretty good friends with the network 
> lead, I found that a bunch of his managed switches had a not so 
> documented default login.  But, the it dept in general hated me.  They 
> removed internet access from my dorm room at one point.  They didn't 
> like that my system wasn't behaving normally.  I filed a complaint 
> with a couple deans and they straight up lost it.  They went so far as 
> to lock me out of course registrations.
> A few bad eggs can make your life very difficult.  I ended up doing 
> some work for a large grant at the college and as a result was 
> building some pretty neat apps that IT had to take ownership of after 
> I left.  We spent considerable amounts of time causing each other grief.
> Moral of the story is...  not everyone is awesome.  Be cautious in 
> dealing with college IT folks.
> Also, grants are a hell of a lot more fun to work for than IT.
>> On May 28, 2010 10:19 AM, "Far McKon" <farmckon at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:farmckon at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Hey folks,
>> I'm putting together a talk about student hackers in a college
>> environment.  A large part of this is an argument for giving students
>> more freedom on the network, making a space/setting/environment where
>> they can hack around *without* making a pain for the rest of the IT
>> infrastructure. So I'm looking to find good background on successful
>> student - IT Department collaborations.  IE Student Interns, Penn
>> tests by students, etc. Even students working the help desk and IT
>> building are a bit of interest. Cases of 'I found bug X and uni. IT
>> hired me' or 'We had a nice sysdmin that let us play on the network'
>> are also of interest.
>> If you want to share, I'm all ears. I'd love to hear about it (off
>> list) so I can make sure I'm getting solid evidence to back my ideas.
>> thanks in advance, and hack on,
>> - Far McKon
>> http://www.Hive76.org  "Making things awesome,  making awesome things!"
>> http://www.FarMcKon.net "Creatively Maladjusted"
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