Have you ever wondered what your student technology fee pays for? Ever wondered what to do after you have been assigned a project that asks you to use a software program you have never opened or a piece of equipment you do not own? Have you ever been running to class wondering where the closest computer lab is so you can print out your essay?  

Here is the answer to all of those questions and more, a comprehensive guide to the technology equipment and services available to Western students.

Technology Center

If you have questions about anything technological, the Student Technology Center is your haven.
“What we’re trying to do is give students technology skills,” STC Supervisor David Hamiter explained. “We help them with technical literacy.”

Located on the second floor of Haggard Hall, the STC boasts a staff of students who are masters at teaching or troubleshooting most software applications.

“Our students come from a wide variety of fields, so you can make an appointment with someone who really knows the program and receive one-on-one tutoring,” David Hamiter, the STC supervisor explained. “They will look at anything you’re working on and you can get help just by dropping by.”

In addition to personalized support, the STC offers hundreds of free workshops each year to teach groups of students the basics of different programs. The available workshops cover most of the Adobe suite, Apple programs like GarageBand, iMovie and Final Cut Pro, most Microsoft Office programs and some web-based applications including Prezi, WordPress and Google Documents. Hamiter said these workshops can not only be helpful for picking up the knowledge base needed to complete a class project, but also for students to use to boost the skill sections of their resumes.

The STC also offers students some impressive equipment. The STC has it’s own computer labs, a large format printer that students can use to create full size posters, dub racks, a scanner that can compress hundreds of pages into one PDF and then load it directly onto the S Drive and a DVD/CD duplicator that can turn one disc into five copies in under five minutes.
The STC is also home to two video editing bays, a soundproof audio bay and a presentation practice room.  

Equipment Loan Desk

Located in Haggard Hall 114, the ATUS Equipment Loan Desk has a loan pool stocked with an astounding variety of portable media equipment. Last year alone, the loan desk provided more than 16,000 equipment rentals.

Equipment offered includes audio and video recording and playback devices, microphones, amps and speakers, projection equipment, laptops and computer accessories, and camcorders and still cameras.

Classroom Services Manager Gary Malick said the most commonly used items are the camcorders, cameras, laptops and video production equipment.

“We have all of the stuff you need to make your video shoots look more professional,” Malick said.

To pick up any of the equipment, students can call 360.650.3300 or stop by the loan desk. All equipment is free if being used for academic purposes, but anybody can check out the equipment for personal use as long as they are willing to pay rental fees.  

General Use Computer Labs

The STC can give you the training you need to get a project done, and the ATUS loan desk can provide you with the equipment you need to do it. But where do you go to actually get it done? ATUS offers over 20 computer labs open to all students.

There are 16 PC labs on campus, located throughout Academic West, Arntzen Hall, Haggard Hall, Miller Hall, Bond Hall, Old Main and the Communications Building. All of these labs have at least one printer and most have scanners as well. There are also five Mac labs on campus, located in Academic West 308, Fine Arts 101, Miller Hall 31, Haggard Hall 245 and the Communications Building 161.  

The computers in the labs come loaded with a dizzying array of software, varying slightly from lab to lab but most often including at least Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite. Students can search for a lab with the exact software they need at www.west.wwu.edu/labsoftware/user.aspx.  

The computer labs are always open, but may not always be accessible because most campus buildings are locked after 11 p.m.

“The rooms themselves are not locked during any quarter session, but some of the buildings lock up at various hours,” Assistant Director of Academic Technology Rob Galbraith explained. “But if you’re in the lab you can continue to stay and work.”

One important exception is that the labs located on the first floor of Haggard Hall, HH 101 and 112, are always accessible.