Keep in mind that many colleges/universities do not allow certain kinds of connections from their servers. IRC is one that can be blocked by the college/university and attempting to bypass that block can get you expelled from the college/university. Make sure that you are allowed to connect before trying to get around any blocks that they have in place.
Note that if you are in the US, many colleges/universities will have you sign a network use policy when you start. These policies usually state something along the lines of "The network can only be used for educational purposes." That means that if they want to, they can take disciplinary action for using it for *anything* other than educational uses. In most cases, they won't do anything as long as you're not using a lot of bandwidth or doing something illegal (downloading music or warez), but some take their policy seriously and will not allow you to even use IM clients, let alone IRC. So, to be on the safe side, make sure you understand what you're allowed to do.