Using Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

The Women in Computer Science Undergraduate Committee uses a public Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel to chat, plan events, and hold discussions. If you've never used IRC before, this document is designed to help you get set up.

Our public IRC channel, #wics, is located on the Open and Free Technology Community (OFTC) network. We also have a separate channel for our systems commitee, #wics-sys. You can visit us by connecting to or using our webchat, as detailed below.

Note: All conversations in the channel are logged for future reference, but we do not publish our logs. Communication in the channel is governed by our Code of Conduct. If you haven't given it a read yet, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it!

Installation instructions


If you just want to drop by our channel to see what all the fuss is about, it's as easy as clicking a link to join us via a web chat client. You can join our general channel, #wics, or our systems committee channel, #wics-sys, in this way. Simply choose a username and click "Connect"!

Graphical clients

Follow these instructions on the OpenHatch wiki to download and install an IRC client:

Our connection information differs from the OpenHatch wiki. Please use the following parameters:

Server name: OFTC (Open and Free Technology Community)
Channel name: #wics

Persistent sessions

Many of our users have an IRC session online at all times. If you'd like to use a similar setup, you will need access to a Linux server.

IRCCloud is a user-friendly and feature rich graphical client that supports persistent sessions, file and image sharing, and more through web and mobile clients. However, it costs $5 USD/month for persistent sessions. If you're looking for a more modern take on IRC that includes a mobile application with out-of-the-box push notifications and you're not worried about the small cost, this may be a great choice for you.

For a more traditional setup, you can follow these instructions to configure IRC in a screen session on a remote server, allowing you to use a secure shell to log in and view your session at any time.

The instructions above are aimed at Computer Science Club members, who have login credentials for Unfortunately, at this time, WiCS does not offer community logins. We hope to have a server set up in the near future to provide this service. In the meantime, University of Waterloo students, staff, and alumni can purchase a Computer Science Club membership for $2 per term, which grants you access to the CSC network.