Students train to self-help with their computers

James Vaughn

If students plan on getting their computer repaired, there is a new procedure for doing so.

Students can no longer drop your computer off at the Computer Center. Instead, they must make an appointment with Student Self-Help Computer Repair and be trained by a student technician.

Freshman economics major Caleb Heck usually trains four or five students a day. He said it is not just about teaching a student how to fix the problem.

“We show them why it happened, so that hopefully, down the road, it doesn’t happen again,” Heck said.

If a student refuses to be trained, then the computer will not get fixed.

“I’ll basically tell them to take their computer down to Best Buy and pay loads and loads of money to have the exact same work done,” Heck said. “A lot of students don’t appreciate what they have right here on campus for free.”

Informational Technology Executive Director Richard Toeniskoetter implemented the new model as an effort to decrease the workload over time. He said by using students to help repair computers will reduce the amount of computers given to full-time staff.

“The major thing that we’re after with this change is to educate students on proper behavior, safety and antivirus programs,” Toeniskoetter said.“We’re not really looking to teach students to be a computer repair person. We’re just asking for students to sit down with staff and learn about how to prevent problems in the future.”

Freshman human resources major Holly Bowling said she does not like the idea of having to sit through a training session if a problem with her computer occurs.

“I think it’s a bad idea,” Bowling said. “I am a busy college student, who does not have time to sit down with a student and be taught how to fix my computer, and I really don’t have time to make an appointment when there are assignments due and studying to be done.”

She said it is the student technicians’ field of study, and they learn a lot on the job.

“They didn’t fix my computer the first time,” said Bowling, who took her laptop to the Computer Center a few months ago. “They just told me what might be wrong with it. So, if they didn’t know how to fix my computer, then why would I trust them to educate me about it?”

Not all students dislike the new model though.

Freshman art major Colton Kays said that being provided general knowledge about technology issues will save the students from having to pay unnecessary fees.

“I think it’s a good idea, especially with technology being so prominent in today’s society,” Kays said. “It’s good to know how to handle problems we all commonly encounter.”

Senior social work major Amber Parsons also supports it. However, she does have one fear regarding the procedure.

“Hopefully they’ll work around students’ schedules, otherwise it will become a problem,” Parsons said.

The new model took affect at the beginning of the semester.