Not OK Computers

With all the talk about moving the UVM campus into the future with new buildings and cutting edge architecture, the campus planners have missed a vital component: computers.Sure, there are a few nice new Macs around the Davis Center, but they are more for show than anythingelse and useless if you want to do anything more than check your email.Forget the slow Internet connection, lack of printers and the simple fact that you have to stand while going about your computer business.Did it not occur to the building planners that a central location on campus and the first real student centerthat the campus has had should have a place for students to print and use computers?At a university that has expanded tremendously over the last few years and has received record numbers of applicants, it is irresponsible not to have a better infrastructure of technology available to the students — improved wireless availability is another point of contention (the lack of good wireless in Lafayette, the premier classroom building on campus, is embarrassing and problematic).The library is the main place on campus where students can print. But the lack of computers and the logjam at the printer during busy times of the semester make it impossible to rely on Bailey-Howe, especially during mid-term and finals season.Students should not have to wander around the library waiting to pounce as soon as one of their peersstarts packing up their bag or putting on their coat.Honors students can feel the printing crunch too. John Dewey Honors Program members in the Collegeof Arts and Sciences used to have a lounge in the Old Mill Annex as a freeprinting resource, but that too has gone by the wayside.It seems that most everyone whose school does not supply some source of free printing time falls into the same unfortunate boat.Beyond the simple issue of printing, the lack of computers on campus available for student use further challenges those students not fortunate enough to enjoy the luxury of owning their own computers. Without adequate, free computer and printing facilities, these students stand to perform poorer in class assignments.For a university that champions social justice, this is unacceptable. In the midst of a massive increase in the student body as well as in national press, the lack of computers on campus is an example of the dearth of foresight, effective planning and, most of all, a troubling lack of attention to the entire student body.