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University to reduce number of on-campus computers

Early this semester, an email survey sent out by the Technology Support Center caused a panic in some students at the University.

The survey asked questions regarding the utilization of computer labs on campus. Upon receiving this, many students were led to believe that the amount of computers on campus would soon decrease.

Chief Information Officer John Ellinger addressed these rumors.

“The utilization of the computer labs is decreasing, so we are just trying to make the number [of computers] fit the need,” said Ellinger. “We currently have 1,700 devices on campus, while Ohio State, a school triple our size, has 1,800.”

Ellinger went on to describe the “Bring Your Own Laptop” initiative that will be beginning on campus this year and be implemented throughout the next five years.

Throughout the next few years, students will be encouraged to bring their own laptops, or in the future, tablets, to class and to study. The University is also looking into having laptops available for rental, as well as refurbished laptops and tablets decorated in Bowling Green colors to be purchased at a reduced price.

“Right now I’m not ready to say you can have a successful experience with a laptop or tablet,” Ellinger said. “Some computers on campus have software and capabilities that laptops will never have and they are not going anywhere.”

Student Affairs Chair Nic Puccio spoke up on behalf of the students.

“In my opinion there could never be enough places to study on campus,” said Puccio. “From what I understand, the less utilized labs on campus will be converted to ‘laptop lounges,’ which will have no benefit for those without a laptop.”

Puccio went on to discuss the growing usage of technology in the classroom and in education in general.

“Technology is not going anywhere; if anything we use it more and more every day,” said Puccio. “I don’t see why we would take this technology away from students; it limits their education.”

Puccio mentioned that he works closely with Erin Baker of Graduate Student Services. Baker, as well as Graduate Student Services, has created a resolution opposing the “Bring Your Own Laptop” initiative.

“I authored the response letter from Graduate Student Senate to John stating our views and reservations on the initiative,” Baker said. “As graduate students, we’re trained to think critically and analyze problems and situations.”

According to Baker, this initiative is based on a “seriously flawed survey,” and she and other graduate students are looking out for the other students on campus.

Ellinger as well as others at the Technology Support System are aware of the resolution.

“We’re not suddenly going to take away all your computers; there will always be computers on campus,” said Ellinger. “We may reduce the number by 200 and see how it goes.”

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