Agora Portal Frequently Asked Questions
getting started with technology
- Why aren't all of the Agora Portal services available 24x7?
- My Options are limited and it is not after hours. What happened?
- What does it mean if a service is grayed out on Agora Portal?
- How do I update my addresses and phone numbers (home, local, work)?
- My work number is incorrect and Agora Portal will not let me correct it.
- Why don't I appear in the Directory Search?
- What is Total Non-Disclosure?
- How can I get an Email Address?
- Why am I not receiving any Email?
- What Happens When I Suppress My Email Address?
- How can I learn more about WebMail and how it supports Addressbooks, sent mail folder, etc?
- Everyone else has Class Rosters except me. How can I get one?
- How do I waive my enrollment in the B.C. Medical Insurance Plan?
- What happens when I suppress my Personal Web Page?
- How can I get my own Web Page?
- How can I tell if I have a Personal Web Page?
- How can I change my Password or PIN?
- I forgot my Password. What do I do?
- How can I request a new Long Distance Access Code (LDAC) if I think someone else knows it?
- How can I make a long distance call from my office or residence hall?
Many of the services available through the Agora Portal are available 24x7, including WebMail, OWA, voicemail, and Campus Groups. Boston College is currently working on a solution to provide 24x7 access to more services.
If you are signing in to the Agora Portal for the first time, you are required to set three Challenge Questions before you can use the complete suite of Agora Portal services. (Challenge Questions are used to verify your identity in the event you forget you password or PIN.)
2. My Options are limited and it is not after hours. What happened?
There are a couple of reasons why your options may be limited during normal business hours and the Agora Portal is not down.
- Temporary Password: If you are signing in to the Agora Portal for the first time or your password has been reset by a technology support person, you are required to change your temporary password to one of your choosing before you can use the complete suite of Agora Portal services.
- Privacy Preferences: Your Privacy Preferences may need to be set. This is either the first time you've ever signed into the Agora Portal or Boston College has added some new Privacy Preferences and wishes you to review and confirm them. If your Privacy Preferences need to be set, you will be notified on the Agora Portal home page. There will be a "Review/Confirm" button for you to click on and you should follow all the instructions so that your Agora Portal Options can be restored.
- Security Agreement: If you are signing in to the Agora Portal for the first time or if you are singing in for the first time following your birthday, you need to "sign" the Boston College Security Agreement. BC requires that you consent and adhere to our Security Guidelines if you wish to use our systems. Once a year, around your Birthday, you will need to consent to the BC Security Agreement. If Boston College is requesting that you "sign" the Security Agreement, you will be notified on the Agora Portal home page. There will be a "Security Agreement" button for you to click on and you should follow all the instructions so that your Agora Portal Options can be restored.
If a service is grayed out, it may mean that a service in not available 24/7 or there are a few services that are dependent on third party sites (including non-BC sites). Agora Portal checks all these sites every 3 minutes and if a site is slow or not responding, then the service is temporarily grayed out for 3 minutes or until the site is available again.
4. How do I update my addresses and phone numbers (home, local, work, etc)?
All Address and Phone Number Changes
- Select the My Services Tab.
- Under the Account Information heading, select Addresses/Phone Numbers.
- Click the Update/Confirm Addresses button.
- Enter current information in the appropriate field. You must enter your Password at the bottom of the page and click on the Submit address update/confirmation button.
All address/phone information is updated immediately and will be reflected in the BC Directory.
5. My work number is incorrect and the Agora Portal will not let me correct it.
Since Boston College has converted to PeopleSoft for its' HR system, automatic phone correction is not always possible. Contact your Technology Consultant (TC). Explain to your TC what you are trying to do in the Agora Portal and the error message. Your TC will reclaim the phone number in question and it can then be assigned to you.
6. Why don't I appear in the Directory Search?
There are a couple of reasons why you may not be appearing in the BC Directory Search:
- If you have not set your Privacy Preferences yet. The University believes that it is better to err on the side of keeping information from the public rather that giving information to the public prior to your Privacy Preferences being established. BC requires that you review and confirm the information and the privacy indicators first. Once that has been accomplished, your information will be released the General Public and BC Community (after signing in to Agora Portal) based on what you specified in your Privacy Preferences.
- You have set your Privacy Preferences; however, you have opted for Total Non-Disclosure. This option makes you "invisible" to Boston College.
7. What is Total Non-Disclosure?
Total Non-Disclosure Explained
Faculty and Staff: The BC Human Resources Department requires work-related information (title, email address, work address and work or Departmental phone number) be displayed in the BC Directory available to members of the BC Community who have signed in with their username and password. All information may be made unavailable to the general public. Employees who have extenuating circumstances, which in their opinion, warrants suppression of any of the work-related information described above, should contact Robert J. Lewis in the Human Resources Department at 617-552-1272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students: Total Non-Disclosure is an option available to BC students within Privacy Preferences, which allows you to conceal your identity from the rest of the BC Community and from the general public beyond BC. For those who choose this option, BC will take exceptional measures to deny knowledge of your existence to others. This service is not without its disadvantages. Some implications of selecting this option follow:
- Not only will no details about you show in electronic and print directories, but your name will not even appear in them. Even members of the BC community who have signed in to the Agora Portal will not see your name or information. When searching for your name using the BC directory in the Agora Portal, the message Found 0 entries. Please try a different search will display.
- BC telephone operators will have no information about you or record of you at Boston College. Anyone calling the university, trying to contact you, will not be able to reach you unless you have told them your phone number. This includes relatives and friends who may have forgotten your phone number. Parents will need to know to contact Campus Police in an emergency if they have forgotten your phone number. BC telephone operators will be instructed to not give out the phone number.
- BC administrators will not acknowledge your existence to ANYONE seeking information about you. This includes potential employers, graduate schools, loan agencies, credit card agencies, etc. Having knowledge of your social security number has no impact on this policy. In instances where an external party requires authorized confirmation of your attendance at BC or other such information, you will have to alert these parties of your Non-Disclosure status and you will have to personally intercede to obtain any required documentation on their behalf.
- Your Email address will differ from the normal format. It will be "email@example.com". Mail sent to "firstname.lastname@example.org" will be rejected. Therefore, you will need to notify others of your address if you want to receive mail from them.
- Some of your information will be available to select administrators and faculty, strictly for business purposes. Your instructors will be given your voice mail number, email address, photo, school, and class year. Other administrators deemed to not warrant access to your information will not know you exist. We will attempt to provide appropriate business access so this will not interfere with your normal business transactions with the university.
If I select "No" on Total Non-Disclosure, but I "suppress" every individual item of information, is that the same thing as selecting "Yes" on Total Non-Disclosure?
The answer is no. The University will only be able to release your name to internal inquiries. The University will tell the inquirer that you have suppressed your information. Had you opted for Total Non-Disclosure instead, the internal inquirer would be told that there is no record of you here at BC. Any external inquiries will not be able to receive any information at all about you, acting like Total Non-Disclosure. If you "suppress" every item of information, your name will still appear when using the BC directory search. However, if you select Total Non-Disclosure, you will not appear on the hard-copy Fall Directory and if you are a student, you will not appear on the hard-copy Student Directory, nor will you appear in the Electronic directories.
8. How can I get an Email Address? Why don't I have an Email Address?
If your email address is blank, then you do not have a Boston College Email Address. Only Undergraduates and BC Employees automatically receive an Email Address.
To request an BC Email address, follow these steps:
- Select the My Services Tab.
- Under the Tools heading, select Email Account.
- From the Email Account Information page, click on the Request Email Account button at the bottom of the page.
You will be given a Boston College Email address which will be in effect in a couple of minutes. During peak times, it could take a couple of hours to take effect. For assistance, contact 2-HELP.
9. Why am I not receiving any Email?
It could be that you have suppressed your Email account. Please read about how suppressing your Email account can affect you.
10. What Happens When I Suppress My Email Address?
If you elect to suppress your Email address, your address will not appear in any printed or online directories, nor will it show up in directory searches. For further assistance, Faculty and Staff should contact their Technology Consultant and students should call 2-HELP or visit the Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC).
11. How can I learn more about WebMail and how it supports Addressbooks, sent mail folder, etc?
WebMail, Boston College's student Web based Email application, can be accessed via the Agora Portal. There is a lot of important information on how to use this product and set your preferences correctly for optimal performance. Read more on these and other frequently asked topics.
12. Everyone else has Class Rosters/My Courses except me. How can I get one?
Boston College does not automatically release ClassMate Rosters/My Courses for you. If you wish to participate and receive class rosters, follow these steps:
- Select the My Services tab.
- Under the Account Information heading, select Privacy Preferences.
- Click Update Privacy Preferences.
This will bring you to the Update Privacy Preferences page.
- Next to Share With ClassMates, select Release.
- Enter your Password and click Update Preferences at the bottom of the page.
You must wait overnight before you will see the ClassMate Roster option in your My Services menu.
Benefits to You on Sharing Information with Your ClassMates
- ClassMate Rosters and My Courses will allow you to see lists of participating students who are enrolled in each of your courses.
- By selecting the release radio button for the Share with ClassMates option, you are choosing to participate. In doing so, you will be able to see information about others in your classes who have also chosen to participate. The information that is "released" to participants is regulated by each participant's "BC Community Privacy Preference" settings. For example, if you suppress your phone from the BC Community, then classmates will not see this item. Likewise, if a classmate has suppressed his/her phone, photo and address, then you will not see those items.
- By selecting "suppress" on the "Share with ClassMates" setting, you are choosing to not participate. No other classmates will see your name or information on their class rosters. You will not be allowed to use the ClassMate Roster or My Courses services to see others in your classes.
- There is only a single "Share With ClassMates" setting which applies to all of your classes in an "all or nothing" fashion. You may change this setting at any time in the future. However, in order to prevent abuse of this capability and to protect those who take this facility seriously, we have built in a participation delay of 1 day. Those who release their information will not be able to see their course rosters until the next day. However, should you choose to change your setting from "release" to "suppress", then this action will take place immediately, and your information will no longer appear on subsequent inquiries by classmates.
13. How do I waive my enrollment in the B.C. Medical Insurance Plan?
To waive or change your Medical Insurance Plan, follow these steps:
- Select the My Services Tab.
- Under the Account Information heading, select Medical Insurance.
- Click the Update Medical Insurance button.
The Update Medical Insurance Page will display.
- Follow the instructions provided.
- When you get to the last page, enter your Password and click the Submit Request button at the bottom of the page.
Your Insurance Plan will be updated.
14. What happens when I suppress my Personal Web Page?
When you suppress your personal web page, it simply removes the link from your "Personal Presence Page" within the online BC Directory. Suppressed personal web pages on www2.bc.edu are still available on the Internet.
As a better alternative for creating and managing web pages, ITS recommends BCShare at: http://share.bc.edu
15. How can I get my own Web Page?
Boston College provides each user the ability to request their own Web Page. If I don't have a personal web page, how can I get one?
16. How can I tell if I have a Personal Web Page?
If you are not sure if you already have a Personal Web Page created under Boston College's Personal Web Page Server, enter this link in your browser, putting your firstname-lastname at the end:
If you receive a page with the following message, you do not have a Personal Web Page:
The requested object does not exist on this server. The link you followed is either outdated, inaccurate, or the server has been instructed not to let you have it.
If I don't have a personal web page, how can I get one?
17. How can I change my BC Password and PIN?
- Select the My Services Tab.
- Under the Account Information heading, select Change Pin or Change Password.
- Follow the system prompts.
If you think the security of your password or PIN has been compromised, change it immediately.
19. How can I request a new Long Distance Access Code PIN if I think someone else knows it?
The Long Distance Access Code (LDAC) allows Faculty and Staff to call long distance for business purposes. If you think the security of your LDAC has been compromised, go to the Campus Technology Resource Center (CTRC) in O'Neill Library Room 250 to get it changed immediately. LDAC change requests can only be done in person. You must present your BCID card and sign a change release form to authorize the transaction. Your LDAC will be changed immediately. LDAC’s are randomly generated. You cannot choose the numbers for your LDAC.
20. How can I make a long distance call from my office or residence hall?