Lab closings were ill-timed

Kevin Hartman and Kevin Hartman

During the first two weeks of school I think that most of the students who were returning noticed something different than usual: a lack of computers.

Across the campus there were but a few labs open to the students as it has been the entire summer, and has continued to be during this school year. The first days were a struggle for schedules and book lists. This is because one of the major labs on campus, the library lab, had been closed over the summer and has yet to be reopened.

With another large computer lab being closed down in Hayes Hall, and replaced with a “Student Technology Center” which is hardly what it claims to be, because it contains no technology for the students to use, just the offices for ITS.

However, ITS is not completely heartless, they have graciously left two major labs open for students, that of the Tech lab and the Union.

If you have never heard of the Tech lab, consider yourself lucky, as it is completely removed from the rest of the campus, and the only dorm near it is Offenhauer. As for the Union, excluding during the summer when it was reserved for freshmen orientation, it is always open for students, and in a relatively good location.

After waiting in the half-hour line to get in, then a student has to walk through a maze of computers whose screens are blank and won’t turn on. Then there are the friendly signs greeting you, like “Randomly Shuts Down.” Then the printers are almost constantly out of paper, it is a miracle when the color printer works, and finding headphones with foam on them is another miracle.

So for anyone who is looking to print out papers for class or for a little online homework, I wouldn’t recommend the Union. Now that there are 21,000 students attempting to print and get work done, it’s becoming more and more of a brilliant idea to have closed two of the largest labs on campus.

Also, I hope you are not a Mac user, because the union only offers PC’s leaving you to one of the small computers placed intermittently throughout the Union, without printing capabilities. Of course, all this being said, there are more than a just these computer labs on campus, but there is a small problem, classes. With the onset of another semester you will be hard pressed to walk into a computer lab and to have happened to pick the right time in yours and the university’s schedule to use that lab.

Plus, with the locations often hidden in the depths of buildings and would require a map to find, its becoming increasingly difficult for students to get their necessary technology needs. This complicates matters especially seeing as most students don’t have time to go into these labs during the day, and need them once they have closed.

So as the students continue on their journeys throughout the semester let us hope the construction ends and labs open. Easing the strain placed on computer labs throughout campus and on students who are looking and paying their university for these labs.

Hopefully, the next time ITS is thinking of closing down two of the most used labs on campus, they will take the time to think about the students before making this decision. It would also be nice if they considered the needs of students who use Mac’s or students who have no personal computers at all, and students who need better working facilities to accomplish their work.

As the University becomes more and more technologically oriented, lets hope that ITS becomes more and more student oriented.