(Aberdeen American News (SD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 06--If you're a Northern State University student and your phone is out of warranty, you may be in luck.
The technical services department takes care of minor repairs on computers and, as their use grows, smartphones and tablets.
"Almost anything you put a computer chip in we've worked on at one time or another," said Tom Godfrey, head of technical services at NSU.
The most common repairs are cleaning viruses and fixing cracked screens.
"We remove a lot of viruses from student-owned machines," Godfrey said. "It'd be nice if we could lock everything down real tight so we'd minimize this . . . these students are at adulthood and we cannot, because of the academic freedom laws, really lock them down tight. They've got a lot more freedom than they did in high school, and some of them don't know what to do with it."
The department will also upgrade Windows operating systems for the students for free, Godfrey said. It's offered through a special Microsoft program and is available only to students.
Technical services will not work on a device that is under warranty, Godfrey said. Any work done by the university would void the warranty.
Students pay a technology fee that covers the cost of labor for the repairs, Godfrey said.
The students are responsible for providing the parts needed, such as a new screen, but technical services will help find the parts needed.
Any computer owned by a student paying the fee can be brought to technical services, Godfrey said. They do not need to be purchased through the school. Both Macs and PC can be fixed there, provided they're not too old.
Not all repairs can be completed by technical services, who will help diagnose the issue and point the student in the right direction to get their machine up and running again, Godfrey said.
Students with broken electronics are not the only one benefiting from technical services.
The department employs technology fellows, a handful of students that work 11 hours a week each to complete the repairs, Godfrey said.
"Students get a lot of experience working on machines, we have people that are working in county governments as their technology people now; we've got people working at Marco that have gone here as tech fellow student laborers," Godfrey said. "They do the vast majority of the basic trouble shooting and repair of student-owned machines."
Faculty and staff also can bring their devices to technical services for minor repairs, Godfrey said.
The program started about a decade ago when students started purchasing personal computers rather than using labs, Godfrey said.
Follow @kgrandstrandAAN on Twitter.
(c)2014 the American News (Aberdeen, S.D.)
Visit the American News (Aberdeen, S.D.) at www.aberdeennews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services