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Carlson to get upgrades

By Samantha Watson
On April 19, 2012

A renovated second floor isn’t the only thing coming to Carlson Library — with help from Student Government, students will be seeing new technology in the coming academic year.

SG is working with the Information Technology department to bring new laptops, PCs and printers to the library.

“Student Senate passed a resolution supporting the purchase of new computers after hearing some students voice their concerns,” said outgoing SG President Matt Rubin.

The IT department is looking to replace the laptops available for rent in the library with about 100 new ones, Rubin said.

While the proposed new laptops have not been purchased, Godfrey Ovwigho, vice president and Chief Information Officer for IT, said it is a matter of working out the logistics.

“We have to look at the most efficient, cost-effective laptops,” Ovwigho said.

Some of the other changes already occurred, like some of the new Hewlett-Packard computers currently in the library.

Also, six HP printers, which are more efficient at dual-sided printing, replaced the library’s old printers.

“Hopefully before the end of this fiscal year, [in] June, we’ll buy more PCs,” Ovwigho said.

The current laptops and computers were purchased when the information commons section of the library was renovated in 2007.

All of the Dell monitors in the library run off the same network which causes them to function slowly. Ovwigho said the new HP computers are all-in-one systems, which perform better.

Outgoing SG Vice President Jordan Maddocks said having the most current technology is vital to the library because many students use the resources there.

“It’s a very highly used portion of campus and I think a lot of money should be going into these improvements,” he said.

The money will come out of the IT department budget and Rubin said they are searching for different ways to save money, like buying laptops which are compatible with the existing power cords.

Maddocks said while the new technology will benefit, it will also take some adjustment.

He said he observed that the new printers have been breaking down and he isn’t sure if the staff is used to the new technology yet.

“Obviously, there’s going to be growing pains,” Maddocks said.

Ovwigho echoed this sentiment but believes the revitalization will be beneficial.

“It’s going to be an ongoing process,” Ovwigho said. “We think hopefully before the end of this year we’ll probably be done refreshing, upgrading and updating all of the systems.”

Rubin said the IT department was considering phasing out the laptop rental program because they didn’t believe the students liked it, but SG has changed the direction of that plan.

“Some students can’t afford to have a laptop; it’s really convenient for them to go to the library and be able to rent one,” Rubin said.

Rubin said the idea was formed by chance when his computer crashed and he took it to the IT help center, where he brought up students’ concerns in a conversation.

“Everyone I’ve talked to in the IT department has been phenomenal and they’ve really been student-centered and student-geared,” Rubin said.

Rubin said SG distributed about 100 surveys to students asking how they felt about the networks, laptops and printing. Afterwards, the results were taken to the IT department and action was made.

“I think that’s where Student Government can be effective and successful – when you can carry over the message to the administration in a clear, concise way that gets results,” he said.


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