Connected.

883

No internet. No e-services, no Moodle. No access to any of the I-Drives or P-Drives. No swipe cards. Students and faculty would live with this if the DePauw network crashed.

Today's society relies so heavily on technology that it is difficult to imagine what a day would be like without it. This is just the question seniors Christine Walker and David Dietz, president and vice president of the student government respectively, posed on Wednesday when they asked students to unplug for a day.

The goal was to bring to light society's reliance on technology.

"The point of this no technology day was to get people talking about our wired-in society," Walker said. "We [Deitz and Walker] were very pleased with the feedback we received, both positive and negative."

Walker said that some people attempted to completely avoid technology for the day, while others simply avoided communication sources like Facebook.

"We had some people tell us that, because we are all so wired, it was good to have a break," she said. "Others didn't think it was even possible to spend an entire day without technology."

Walker understands the campus' reliance on technology and does not believe an entire day without it is feasible.

"We considered closing the DePauw network for a couple hours but quickly realized this was not feasible. Everything is based on that technology: Moodle, swipe cards, e-services, email."

She added that countless students use their phones as alarm clocks and might oversleep their classes if their phones were powered off.

There is no way to get around the fact that DePauw relies heavily on technology. One of the most important study tools for DePauw students is a laptop. The university even implemented a Student Laptop Program, which requires all incoming freshman to purchase a laptop: either a Dell, Apple or HP Tablet.

On the DePauw website, the Student Laptop Program page states, "The program requirements ensure that all students are equipped with the tools needed to support their DePauw learning experience and enable their professors to most effectively make use of technology in the classroom."

To maintain this technology on campus, the university provides resources for students and faculty. The HelpDesk, one of these sources, works to keep DePauw plugged in.

Sophomores Kayla Hill and David Scott are technicians at the HelpDesk in the Union Building. The two shared that the most common problems students seem to have with their computers are viruses, slow programs, forgotten passwords, water damage and issues with the printer programs.

"I've found the most computer viruses come from explicit websites, email attachments from unknown sources and downloads," Scott said. "Usually [students] tend to let the computer problems grow to the point that they can't do anything anymore, so we need to wipe it out."

Wiping out a computer takes a substantial amount of time and effort on both the technician and the laptop's owner.

"Wiping a computer takes half an hour at least, but it depends how bad it is," Scott said. "We need to wipe it and then put all the systems back on. You'll lose everything. If you didn't back up anything it's all gone."

Scott said when professors need assistance they usually call in because the technicians provide in-office visits to them; students visit the HelpDesk, where technicians answer their questions and try to fix computer problems that have ensued.

Senior Ashlee Anton has taken her Dell laptop into the HelpDesk only two times as a student at DePauw. She said that, after four years, her battery has since diminished and loses power at a rapid pace. Anton opted out of using the HelpDesk when a virus attacked her computer and went straight to the source: Dell Support Services.

"I was on the phone for three hours and finally demanded that I speak with a higher up," she said. "He fixed my computer in two minutes."

Serious viruses take much more time to fix.

Of the three laptop options the Student Laptop Program offers, Hill and Scott agree that the HP Tablet seems to have the most issues.

"There are hardware and software compatibility issues, it runs slow, the hard drives are accessed slow, and the problems are just hard to solve," Scott said. "It's ironic because it's also the most expensive laptop option for students."

Both Hill and Scott strongly recommend backing laptops up with an external hard drive.

"I have one on me, in my backpack right now," Scott said, patting the front pocket of the bag laying at his feet.

On a campus such as DePauw's, a day without technology has the potential to shut the school down. For some, a day without technology is almost unfathomable.

When asked if she ever made a conscious effort to avoid technology, Anton joked, "In elementary school, I didn't use as much technology."