ITS seeks input

If Queen’s ITS gets their way, residence rooms will come equiped with computers and internet access.
If Queen’s ITS gets their way, residence rooms will come equiped with computers and internet access.
Photo: 

The days of lugging a heavy computer monitor up six flights of stairs on residence move-in day may be coming to an end.

ResTech, a new computer leasing program that has been proposed by Queen’s Information Technology Services (ITS), aims to have a computer already installed for each student when they arrive in their residence rooms. The computer would be leased to the students for the year as a part of the residence package.

“ResTech will make the move-in hassle free and save students money,” said Brian Coughtrey, sales, program and marketing co-ordinator with ITS. “It will allow students to roll into residence and not worry about setting up their computers. It’s one less hassle to deal with and it will solve some headaches for when students are coming to Queen’s.” The average eight to 20- month lease rate is $105 per month. According to Coughtrey, ResTech would cost an extra $50 to $80 in residence fees each month, depending on the funding that is allocated to the program.

Currently, 1300 students are leasing computers from ITS.

The idea of ResTech grew out of discussions among Hewlett-Packard, the University of Waterloo, Queen’s and Dalhousie.

Waterloo began a pilot project this past September with computers placed in 40 residence rooms and plans to expand on this program next year. Ohio State University has also successfully implemented a similar program in their residences.

Although the specifics of the ResTech program are still in their being worked out, feedback appears positive. According to Coughtrey, presentations given to potential first-year students conducted by Student Recruitment regarding services available for students were well received. Coughtrey also indicated that students liked the idea of having an installed computer that would be compatible with the Queen’s system as soon as they arrived on campus. Parents and students remarked that the biggest benefit to the program would be the relief that they would not have to worry about shipping a computer to and from school each year.

While most people felt positively about the program, some potential Commerce students felt that their program’s requirement to lease or own a notebook computer made ResTech less attractive.

The Journal was met with mixed reactions when asking first-year students for their reaction to the ITS proposal.

“Your own computer has your own files like MP3’s. You already have the software and the things you want on it,” said Jerome Mourits, ArtSci ’04.

Melanie Tam, ArtSci ’04, had similar reservations, but felt that ResTech has the potential to be a good program for some students. “[ResTech] would be okay if you had an option in residence — if you could check a box or something.”

“[ResTech] sounds like a good idea for someone who doesn’t know computers,” said Vincent Moks, Sci ’04. “But for someone who knows computers, like me, it’s not such a good idea.” Mok said that he was concerned that a ResTech computer would not be set up in a way that he liked. Coughtrey acknowledges that there are still many details to be worked out in the program and that many concerns will have to be addressed. “We have to have more than one solution for the student,” he said, noting that many students may want to bring their computer from home, or have the option of choosing from a variety of computer and leasing options.

To address these concerns, Coughtrey is currently soliciting feedback about the proposal. “We need to know if there is a perceived value to the student,” he said. Coughtrey encourages all interested students and faculty to send their comments to coughb@post.queensu.ca

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.