The other day I overheard some fellow Western students talking about using an on-campus center to make a giant poster for class. Where could this mystical place be found, I wondered, and how could I too make a giant poster? As I continued to eavesdrop, I caught the phrases “Student Technology Center” and “free” before these in-the-know students continued on their merry way. It is spring quarter of my senior year, and, although it is a little embarrassing to admit, I have no idea where the Student Technology Center is located or what kind of services they offer. Or rather, I should say I had no idea until last week when I went on an adventure of sorts.

Since Western students are both really smart and tech-savvy, as well as very nice and helpful, I decided to find out from students themselves just where the Student Technology Center is.
I began my mission at the Publicity Center, in the bowels of the Viking Union (Some of you have gotten this far in my article to find out for yourselves just where the STC is, and are now scratching your heads, wondering where the Publicity Center is too— it’s in VU 411). With AS Review Photographer Matt in tow, I found my first unsuspecting but presumably knowledgeable Western student. I nonchalantly asked her where one might find the STC and her face went blank. So this is going to be more of an adventure than I had originally planned for, I thought. When asked to point me in a general direction (South campus? North?), she again appeared confused. “Maybe in Haggard?” she offered up, less than convinced with her own answer. I thanked her, and started the trek to Haggard Hall.

As I was crossing the Performing Arts Center Plaza, I noticed a worldly-looking gent who was in the midst of erecting a stage for the night’s musical performance. Hoping he could give me some specifics, I asked him where I could find the STC. He too looked confused, and suggested that I try the VU Information Desk. While I knew very well, having just walked by the Info Desk, that the STC was not there, I decided to head back into the VU anyway on the chance that someone there might know better.

Once at the Info Desk, I asked the info girl about the STC. She furrowed her brow. “Umm…” she wavered, “I could look it up for you.” I have to hand it to her, she really was trying to help me, and it was hard to convince her to put away her directory. I assured her that for the purposes of science, I preferred that she just tell me her best guess rather than find the “actual” location of the STC. “I think it’s in Miller Hall,” she offered. So off Matt and I went.

I decided to make a b-line for Miller, seeing as how getting side-tracked by asking another person only set me farther from uncovering the location of the STC. On the walk, Matt mentioned that the only reason he knew where to find the STC was because of a freshman orientation tour. So he knew all along and was withholding the information! I forgave him that, since being told right off the bat would have ruined all the fun of seeing the floundering responses of the students I had been asking. “Wait, which one’s Miller again?” Matt said as we walked into Red Square. Perhaps that will be next week’s adventure.

I found Miller Hall just fine, but still no STC in sight, so I stopped another student to ask for directions. “Ok, so first you’re going to go past the courtyard, then into the building on the far side,” he instructed. “You’ll see some stairs that go up and some that go down. Take the one’s that go up (there’s only about five of them), and stay to the left until you come to some big glass windows and you’re there.” I blinked. This student was very precise and seemed like he knew what he was talking about, despite the fact that he looked to be about 14 years old, so Matt and I thanked him and headed out. We arrived at the place he had described, but unfortunately that place was the ATUS Help Desk and not the STC. Foiled again.

Inside the Help Desk office, two very helpful girls answered my question of how to find the STC without hesitation. I definitely felt that we were on to something. “It’s in Haggard Hall, on the left,” they said. With the smell of victory in our nostrils, Matt and I departed, heading straight for Haggard Hall.

Just as the helpful girls had said, there it was, the Student Technology Center, in Haggard Hall 121! I was greeted immediately by a desk person, who informed me that the STC offered lots of computers for student use, scanners, workshops for learning computer programs, DVD, CD, and VHS burning capabilities, color prints, photo prints, video editing stations, specific help, and, of course, a huge poster-maker. This desk person told me, “If more students knew about the center, a lot more people would use it.” I learned the hard way, wandering campus at the whims of student guesses, but now that you’ve read this article, you too can be in the know!

Check out the Student Technology Center during its hours of operation, Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., give them a ring at (360) 650-4300 or shoot them an email at techcenter@wwu.edu.