Finals are approaching, and projects are piling up. The old creaky laptop sitting on the desk is on its last leg and decided to crash. The stress sets in as project deadlines approach.
To help reduce the stress, PolyConnect Service Desk, located on the first floor of Robert E. Kennedy Library, offers students the opportunity to check out various electronics, from iPads to video cameras, for school projects or personal use.
“We have Dell laptops students can checkout; they are similar to the desktops we have here,” philosophy senior Robert Cameron said. “They just do not have the advanced engineering software on them.”
Cameron works daily helping students check out needed equipment at the PolyConnect front desk. Though the laptops do not have advanced software on them, they do come equipped with Adobe CS5 and Microsoft Office 2010.
Laptops are the most popular items, but students can also check out computer accessories, projection equipment and other useful electronics. All that is needed to check out equipment is a valid student ID and less than $10 in outstanding fees on the account, Cameron said.
“The biggest fee I saw was about $400,” Cameron said. “It was mostly from a ton of overdue books.”
To avoid fees, students should be sure to return borrowed equipment on time or extend the checkout online; some items are not available for renewal.
Many of the larger items have a checkout time of three days, including scanners, video cameras and projectors. These items can be borrowed for up to three days with the option of one two-day renewal. Other popular items, such as laptops and headphones, can only be checked out for three hours at a time, with no renewal option. Though these rental periods are short, the availability of such devices has helped many students in need. Business administration junior Devon Lauren said she utilized PolyConnect’s services when she left her laptop at home.
“I was working on a group project, and I was responsible for bringing the computer, which I forgot at home,” Lauren said. “I checked out a laptop for a few hours, and got our work turned in on time. The machine was kind of slow, but it got the job done.”
The temporary use of equipment is useful, but students can also check out iPads and Kindles for a longer period of time. Kindles are available for seven days at a time, with the option of two seven-day renewals. iPads can only be checked out for three days with no renewal.
“I had no idea that iPads were available at Poly,” Lauren said. “I would use them to take surveys for some class projects.”
PolyConnect’s arsenal of electronics includes equipment to help students with their presentations. Mechanical engineering junior Phillip Streeter checked out laptops, projectors and screens to create and display a final project last quarter.
“My laptop has seen better days,” Streeter said. “(PolyConnect’s) services have helped me a lot these past few quarters. If I didn’t have access to a working laptop, I would have died.”
PolyConnect Service Desk allows students to check out equipment Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.