Dead battery? The answer is in student’s wallets

The laptop program at St. John’s has made us one of the top wireless campuses in the country. The laptops are a great convenience to the student body.

Unfortunately, as some students know all too well, problems with those laptop can be a serious pain, especially if they occur right before a paper is due.

The Information Technology (IT) office is here on campus to come to the aid of students whenever their computers decide to stop working. All laptops have a four year warranty, so accidental damage and theft are covered for four years. If serious damage occurs, then the student must pay a deductible.

An issue that has come to light only recently is the fact that the laptop batteries have only a one year warranty. Therefore, if the battery should malfunction or burn out after the first year, the school does not cover it. The student must then go out and purchase a new battery on his or her own.

This has been very distressing to many students at St. John’s. The limited battery warranty is not explained to students at the outset, so the first time students are hearing about it is when they visit IT with a burned out battery.

When freshman Nitasha Iqbal heard about the battery warranty, she said, “We are paying so much in tuition, and we really don’t see it in the dorms or anything. They should cover the laptops completely.”

Recently, Joseph Tufano, the chief information officer at IT, Cindy Grossman of Student Affairs, and the Director of User Services for IT, Kenneth Mahlmeister, explained that batteries receive only a one year warranty because they are considered consumables by IBM. However, this leaves the student body at a disadvantage. Students are on very limited budgets, so paying to replace a faulty battery could be a problem. The cost of batteries is constantly fluctuating; a new battery would cost about $130.

IT and the office of Student Affairs plan to make battery replacement easier on students. Tufano, Grossman, and Mahlmeister stated that batteries would soon be on sale at the campus bookstore or laptop shop at a discounted price to make it easier for students to obtain them. Of course, parameters will be put in place to prevent students from taking advantage of the system.

Hopefully, the school will be able to keep these promises and will provide the discounted batteries soon enough to help those students who are currently facing a laptop energy crisis.