Filling the desks in classrooms across campus, students with laptops sit and quickly power up to sneak a peek at the latest Facebook news feed before instruction begins. Many are disappointed, however, when login errors prohibit immediate Internet connection. Letting out a sigh, the students replace the laptop with their trusty notepad and pen to commence taking notes. This situation is replayed numerous times daily across campus, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
The technicians at the IT help desk, located in the basement of the Browning Administration building, can not only help with login errors, but also provide a laundry list of services that would normally only be found at a place like Best Buy.
Upon entry to the doors, you will find a long desk with a few fellow students eagerly waiting to assist you. The room seems small upon initial entry, but a tremendous amount of technical conversation can be heard, indicating a furious work ethic occurring behind the shelves filled with computer parts and diagnostic equipment.
The problems with laptops not connecting immediately to the Internet, said Nick Olsen, a consultant in the IT Department, stem from user ID verification.
“They are easy fixes that can be done here at the help desk,” Olsen said.
Laptops are not the only hardware the IT technicians can help you with. Other devices, such as smart pads, iPods and iPhones, also known as iOS devices, can be serviced in a matter of minutes.
Consultations for services provided are free to any student. All hardware and software install and repair services provided from your big box retailers are available at the IT help desk – at a much lower price than Best Buy.
“We are lifetime geeks,” Olsen said. “Unlike big box stores that hire employees with almost no experience and hand them a manual to complete the task of service for your computer.”
Even with the access to these “lifetime geeks,” most students are unaware of the office and what it provides. The IT help desk usually has one or two students waiting at a time, but the wait time is relatively fast for simple login errors.
“We really don’t have an advertising budget that covers us to promote on campus. Most students we get to come in here are from word of mouth,” Olsen said.
The “computer aggressive” staff, as described by Olsen, are available five days a week, but hours will soon expand with the hire of a new technician to work weekends.
By JON HOWARD