The office of Student Affairs and Information Technology released a memo to all students, updating three of the University’s laptop policies last month. The accidental damage charge, laptop replacement fee, and laptop defacement charge were all decreased or revised after many students voiced concerns on the high costs and the unfair guidelines the policies outlined for students.
The policy’s main goal is to charge students fairly according to the damages done to their computer. The $250 accidental damage charge for computer repairs, which formerly was paid before repairs could be made, now ranges from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $250. In an effort to provide quicker services and a more flexible payment plan, the University has also planned to charge all repairs directly to students’ University account, rather than requiring them to be paid separately. A receipt outlining all repairs made will also be given out to students after they receive their laptops. The new policy will allow for a faster repair time and will result in more loaner laptops to be available to students who are still waiting for repairs to be completed.
“I’m happy that they’ve changed the policy but I still wish they would find a way to repair the laptops faster because having to wait two or three weeks for your laptop can be a pain,” said Jessica Sampson, a sophomore.
Although IT has no plans to increase their staff at this time, they are planning to invest in new loaner laptops to ensure that all students have access to a computer while theirs is being repaired.
Karen Brosi, Manager of Student Services in the Laptop Repair Center, said that IT hopes to increase loaner laptops by 30 percent by the end of next year. She also suggested that students try to avoid bringing in their laptops during the end of the semester and school year to avoid long waits.
“Repair time can often take longer during the end of the year or semester because every one rushes to have [their laptop] repaired, causing the workload to be higher than usual for the IBM certified technicians,” she said.
The University has also revised the new replacement fee policy from the original $500 fee to a $400 fee when a laptop is lost or stolen. Although the charge has only decreased by a $100, many students welcome the new change and hope that the fee continues to decrease with time.
Joey Zuccaro, a freshman in the School of Education believed the decrease was reasonable and students should be grateful the school doesn’t charge more to replace them.
“If someone loses their laptops in the real world, they probably have to pay thousands of dollars to replace it,” he said. “Here at St. John’s they are only making you pay a small fee; it would be ridiculous to complain over that.”
Although two of the laptop policies have been completely changed, the $100 laptop defacement policy has not. The only modification to this policy is that students can now appeal the charge with the University’s judicial process that is implemented by the Division of Student Affairs.
These changes are all in an effort to lessen student expenses and continue providing students with the most up-to-date service. IT’s efforts have recently been recognized by IBM Lenovo, which named them in the top 20th percentile in “outstanding performance by a warranty self maintainer program.” This marks three consecutive years that IT has received this recognition, which is given to them because of their ability to handle all laptop issues effectively without having to send out repairs directly to IBM.