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Throughout the summer–weeks and even months before the start of Fall semester, Information Technology Services Service Desk staffers were equipping parents and students with knowledge about the laptops and tech services available to them through the University.

From the ITS booth at the twice-a-week summer orientation at the Carolina Union, ITS Service Desk employees interacted with, engaged and informed first-year students and their parents about the laptops available for purchase from ITS’ Carolina Computing Initiative as well as ITS’ tech support services.

Christina Artis
Christina Artis

Some parents are still deciding

The majority of UNC-Chapel Hill students purchase CCI laptops. Not all parents, however, have made up their mind by summer orientation if they’ll purchase a CCI computer for their son or daughter.

It’s always fun to interact with parents and to have that conversation with parents who are still on the fence, said Christina Artis, ITS Service Desk Tier 1 Team Lead.

Common questions for ITS

“The type of questions that parents may ask us are:
Do I really just let go? Can I really just tell my son or daughter to not contact me in the middle of the night?
Are you really able to fix of all their computing needs, like what happens if their computer is broken? Do they really get a loaner?
My son or daughter just got a computer for Christmas. Do I really need to buy another computer if they just got one six months ago?”

The staffers of the ITS Service Desk inform parents and students as those families try to determine the right solution for their individual situation.

“We just try to give them the pros and cons each way,” Artis said.

ITS can help with hardware and software

At orientation, Service Desk employees explain the CCI program minimum specifications for laptops.

“If you’re comfortable with your son or daughter having the computer they currently have, they are more than welcome to bring that computer in to the University,” Artis said.

Even if students use their existing laptops, Artis explains to the parents and students who visit the ITS booth, ITS “can still help them with software issues. But when you purchase a CCI computer, you have the peace of mind knowing that if there’s any hardware or software issue, we are there to help them. You don’t have to worry about going to the Geek Squad or the Apple Store. All their needs can be taken care of at the Service Desk.”

One dad explains how ITS assisted him

One parent who enlisted Artis’ help at summer orientation in late July was Lee Warner, a 1990 Carolina alum whose son, Jared, was about to begin his freshman year at the University.

Lee Warner, of Athens, Ga., was interested in ITS services for his son’s Samsung laptop in the event the computer has issues.

“I wanted to make sure the specifications of his current laptop are adequate, at least to get him through the first couple of years,” Lee Warner said. “I found the staff to be very helpful and (they) answered all of my questions.”

At orientation, many parents are looking for reassurance from ITS.

Mainly, parents just want to know that their son or daughter will be OK and they’ll be in capable hands when the parents drop them off at school, Artis said, and that they no longer have to be their child’s tech support person.


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