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The department's IRC server is located at
irc.cs.nmt.edu:6697. For people new to IRC, a good client is hexchat.
The department hosts an IRC bouncer (ZNC) at https://znc.cs.nmt.edu. An IRC bouncer enables you to keep a log of what you miss when your client is offline, among many other things. Wikipedia has a description.
You can log into ZNC with two different passwords:
Some IRC clients store passwords in plaintext, so it's generally a good idea to use a password other than your CSE credentials.