By EMILY SMURTHWAITE
Long lines are a typical part of college life. There are lines in the bookstore, lines at the football games and lines at Taco Bell. Yet, the faculty at Information Technology Services believe there shouldn’t be lines at computer labs.
Scattered throughout campus, there are 21 AccessPoint computer labs and 300 ports where students can connect their laptops, said Rob Allen, IT Services’ Access Point Manager.
This is significant because thousands of computers with Internet access and word processing programs are available to students, regardless of their major.
“In the past, the computer labs were owned and funded by the department and were restricted to those who were in the major. Some labs are still private, like the engineering lab. The number of computers that were available to you depended on whether your major was well-funded or not,” Allen said.
With all the labs around campus, there are still lines to use the small computer kiosks. The kiosk in the Wilkinson Student Center by the Information Desk usually has a line, although there is a computer lab on the first floor where there are many more computers to use.
With the large number of lab users, students might worry that their disk might pick up a virus from the lab computers. There shouldn’t be any problems though because the computers have Norton Anti-virus installed on them, Allen said.
“I haven’t heard of any problems this year with viruses, although we did have some last year,” he said.
The ports for laptops are found in the WSC, Harold B. Lee Library, J. Reuben Clark Law Building, N. Eldon Tanner Building and Carl F. Eyring Science Center, Allen said.
“The AccessPoint development team is working on a labeling system so the ports will be easier to find. For now, buildings that contain ports will have a sticker on their outer doors,” Jacey Davis, a public relations assistant for IT Services, said in a press release.
Students are enjoying the accessibility they have to laptop computer ports around campus.
“It’s really easy just to take around my laptop. It was hard to find a place to plug it in before. I am pleased that we have these outlets — I don’t have to go home to type or wait in line,” said Rachel Evans, 19, a sophomore majoring in Zoology.
Allen said there are plans to increase the number of laptop ports and computer labs in the next year.