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As the campus bustle resumes following summer break, thousands of UNC-Chapel Hill students are good to go with laptops newly purchased from the University and with mobile devices recently connected to Carolina’s wireless network.

ITS serves 3,000 first-year students during orientation

Angie Potiny helps student at orientation
Angie Potiny assists student at orientation

Thousands of first-year students, transfers and dental and medical school students enlisted Information Technology Services’ help to set up their wireless and their Carolina Computing Initiative laptops at summer orientation. At these sessions, held from early June through the end of July at the Carolina Union, ITS also educated students about the tech services they can access during their college career at Carolina.

ITS staff and student workers serve about 3,000 incoming first-year students over the course of the twice-a-week orientation for setup of CCI-purchased laptops and mobile connection, said Angie Potiny, Drop-Off Services Supervisor for the ITS Service Desk.

Transfer students and students from the medical and dental schools have their own dates for orientation, but they can choose instead to attend the CCI orientation for first-year students. CCI serves 150 to 250 students each day of orientation.

Before orientation, CCI staffers install software on all the CCI laptops.

“It’s roughly 100 machines we do in a day, with the max amount being 180,” said Jackson Cox, Team Lead, Walk-in Services for the ITS Service Desk. “We can do 37 Lenovos and 18 Macs at a time,” he added.

Students pick up CCI laptops
ITS staffers serve students picking up their CCI laptops

Organized bustle for pickup and setup

On one Tuesday in July, like at other days of orientation, ITS was ready for the throng of students. In one room, ITS assisted students with connecting mobile devices to eduroam, the campus wireless network. In another bustling room, students who had ordered their Apple or Lenovo laptop from CCI by the May 15 deadline maneuvered through the line to pick up their laptop and buy accessory tech items and backpacks.

After picking up their computer, students made their way down the hall to another room, where ITS employees helped them set up their user account, connect to wireless and otherwise get to know their devices.

Preparing students for start of semester

Some students sat down with their ITS consultant for only a few minutes before they were on their way. Others, like dentistry student Monica Kim, remained longer, requiring more assistance.

“I was here today to get my MacBook Pro set up,” Kim said. A self-described “PC/Android girl,” she said, “Mac is completely new to me and I needed a little extra help and I got it all.”

As a result of the laptop orientation, she said, “I’ll be ready for the fall because I won’t be fussing over any sort of new technology and I’ll be focused on my classes and any sort of curriculum my professors present me.”

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