At Allerton I finally set up the eduroam network on my phone and laptop. It was great — with the UIUC system you had to log in with a special temporary ID and password each time, but with eduroam it would automatically connect and authenticate like any other normal wireless network.
Basically you use the same login/password as for other authenticated services on your campus. At Chicago it’s called your CNetID, but the credentials will be different from place to place. The key is that you validate to the network using those credentials and not some locally-given account.
It seems that the system has been expanding — if your institution doesn’t support it then you should ask them to do so. Of course, maybe we should just have more open networks, but at least with this you can get wifi on many campuses without having to deal with the bureaucratic overhead of the IT services.