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Computer Commons

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the general policy of the Computer Commons?
  2. Who is in charge of the Computer Commons?
  3. What is the Computer Use Policy?
  4. Can I bring my coffee/water/soda or a light snack into the Computer Commons?
  5. Can I play games in the Computer Commons?
  6. Can my kids play games in the Computer Commons?
  7. What is the Computer Commons' definition of a game?
  8. What kind of help do you provide in the Computer Commons?
  9. Can I call the Computer Commons on the phone?
  10. Will you help me with my personal computer problems?
  11. Can I print in the Computer Commons?
  12. How much does printing cost in the Computer Commons?
  13. Can I print from my laptop or from home?
  14. Can I just pay you instead of buying a copy card to print in the Computer Commons?
  15. Can you make change in the Computer Commons?
  16. Can I print in color in the Computer Commons?
  17. Can I print legal / letterhead / special paper in the Computer Commons?
  18. What software is available in the Computer Commons?
  19. What hardware do you have in the Computer Commons?
  20. Can I bring my class to the Computer Commons?
  21. Can I access the Class Folders and/or Network Transport in the Computer Commons?
  22. Can I get help with my writing assignments?
  23. Can I fax or scan in the Computer Commons?

What is the general policy of the Computer Commons?
The Computer Commons is a centralized computer lab providing both Dell & Macintosh computers for student computing. This is a working lab. Students doing academic work have priority.

The public is welcome so long as resources are available. WCC's expectation is that everyone in the lab will be considerate and respectful of all others working in the lab. The Computer Commons is neither a social area nor a childcare area. It is a resource for students to do schoolwork. Staff is not allowed to do work for users, but will help to the extent that they are able to due to either knowledge or time constraints.

To use the computer lab's facilities, you must be either a WCC or WTMC student or an adult. Children are welcome to quietly visit the computer commons. For their safety, children under the age of 15 without a WCC ID must be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.

Bad behavior, bad language, loud noises/conversations (of adults or minors), lack of consideration for people working, cell phone usage/excessive volume, and disrespectful behavior are all unacceptable in this environment. Common sense, common courtesy and reasonable adult behavior are the expected norms in the lab. Failure to honor these norms or any of the unacceptable actions can and will result in either being asked to leave or being referred to WCC Security.

Who is in charge of the Computer Commons?
Michael N. Lee
LRD Computer Lab Coordinator
GM 206
Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-677-5387
lee@wccnet.edu

What is the Acceptable Use Policy?
The "Acceptable Use Policy" is WCC policy made by WCC about the proper and improper use of its network and computer resources. All those who use the WCC network and or computer resources are subject to this policy even if using their own equipment. Please read the Computing Resources Usage Policy here.

Can I bring my coffee/water/soda or a light snack into the Computer Commons?
No. For the safety of the computer equipment and to prevent stains and other accidents, the Computer Commons does not allow food or drink of any kind.

Can I play games in the Computer Commons?
No. We do not allow games in the Computer Commons unless it is for a class. If your instructor assigns game playing as part of a class we will allow it but you will be asked to provide your instructor's name and the class you are in. Your instructor may then be contacted to verify this. Games slow down the network and take away resources from people trying to engage in academic work.

Can my kids play games in the Computer Commons?
No. Children are not allowed to play games either. We have a book at the desk called "101 Websites for Kids." We will gladly allow you to borrow it while in the lab. This may help you guide your children to some fun activities that are allowed. Games slow down the network and take away resources from people trying to engage in academic work. If your child/baby is fussy or crying, you will be asked to take them out of the Computer Commons to minimize distraction for those students trying to concentrate on school work.

Also do not leave children unattended in the Computer Commons. We have neither the facilities nor training for child care. Campus Security may be contacted to attend to unaccompanied children.

What is the Computer Commons' definition of a game?
A game is defined as something that keeps score or has a winner. All other things are activities. Coloring for example is an activity not a game.

What kind of help do you provide in the Computer Commons?
We have lab staff on duty whenever the lab is open. They are there to help you with software errors or problems you may encounter. Please note, however, that they are not LSS (Learning Support Services) tutors or experts on every kind of software ever written. As generalists, the Commons' staff does not function as course-specific lab aides or tutors. The staff makes every effort to assist you, but will not do the work for you. This is your responsibility. If you encounter a problem that the staff is unable to solve, please refer back to your instructor (they are the final authority when it comes to your school work). You are also expected to possess the basic skills required to operate a computer BEFORE you come to the lab. If you need help with the basics or want to practice them, we can help you with this. We do not teach you how to perform basic functions but rather assist you with specific problems. For basic computer usage or file management instruction, we do recommend taking the basic computer literacy course (CIS100) as one of your first classes here at WCC. For more on this see the user assistance in the Computer Commons.

Can I call the Computer Commons on the phone?
Yes, our number is 734-973-3420

Will you help me with my personal computer problems?
Personal computer problems can be directed to the Information Technology Services  helpdesk in SC 314 (734-973-3456).

Can I print in the Computer Commons?
Yes. We have four black and white laser printers and one color printer to serve you. Please be aware that printing is not free in the lab and you must purchase a Print-Copy card or use your Student ID. Print-Copy cards may be purchased in the Library or the Computer Commons. Cards cost $1 and come with 50 cents printing credit on them. Student IDs have no starting monetary value and require that money be added to them. When you print a job, you will be asked for a release key. If you are using a Print-Copy Card, it is the 6 numbers on the back of the card below the magnetic stripe. If you are using your Student ID, it is the front part of your email address. Example: jsmith@wccnet.edu, you use: jsmith.  Then go to the printer and swipe your card (stripe up). The new print system will do the rest although you will have to select which job you wish to print if there is more than one.

Can I print from my laptop or from home?
Yes. We now have web/wireless printing. You may only pick up your print jobs from the printers in the Computer Commons. Your print job will stay in the print queue (holding area) for about 4 hours. However, we do advise that you save your file to a flash (USB) drive and bring it with you just to be safe. You can find the printing instructions here.

How much does printing cost in the Computer Commons?
Printing costs $.05 per page for black and white pages and $.10 per page for color copies/pages. You can purchase a print-copy card from the card vending machine in the lab or in the library to pay for printing. Alternatively, you can use your student ID card.

Can I just pay you instead of buying a copy card to print in the Computer Commons?
No. You must purchase a print-copy card or use your student ID. This requires a dollar bill (50 cents for the plastic card which comes with 50 cents of printing on it). For adding additional money, the card dispenser will take $1, $5 and $10 bills and will also take nickels, dimes and quarters. If you have any questions as to how to add money for additional printing, please ask us before you try it. For all change needs, we suggest that you visit the Library Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Gunder Myran building (right below the Computer Commons' main front desk) or the Cashiers office in the SC building on the 2nd floor.

Can you make change in the Computer Commons?
No. We cannot make change. For all change needs, we suggest that you visit the Library User Services Desk on the first floor of the Gunder Myran building or go to the cashier’s office on the 2nd floor of the Student Center building. The print card dispensers (kiosks) do not give change.

Can I print in color in the Computer Commons?
Yes. The Computer Commons has a Color Printer. Please be aware that printing is not free in the lab. Color printing costs $.10 per page.

Can I print legal / letterhead / special paper in the Computer Commons?
Yes, but we do not officially support it. You may bring in letterhead or special paper to use but we may not be able to assist you with printing. You may consider visiting the Copy Center for help with your special printing needs.

What software is available in the Computer Commons?
Please see the list of software titles to see what we currently have available in the Computer Commons.

What hardware do you have in the Computer Commons?
We currently have a mixture of Dell and Macintosh's for a total of about 200 machines. Some specialized software is loaded on machines that are termed Special Applications. Other machines (Dell or Macintosh) are used for Digital Video work and are reserved primarily for those students. We also have 2 scanners attached to Dell stations. Four printers provide black and white printing and are placed evenly throughout the commons. There is one color printer located close to the main (front) desk.

In addition, removable storage drives are available upon request and may be checked out using a student ID.

Can I bring my class to the Computer Commons?
Yes, however, you must contact us in advance about days and times. You are free to bring your class to the Computer Commons but be aware that availability changes throughout the day. Between 10:00am to 2:00pm, the computer commons generally is busy and space may not be available. Early in the morning, later in the afternoon, in the evening and weekends are slower times where you may have more luck finding contiguous seating. Fridays also tend to be better about seating your class in blocks. Contact Michael Lee at x5387 for additional information.

Can I access the Class Folders and/or Network Transport in the Computer Commons?
Yes. The Macintosh computers have access to the class folders and the network transport.

Can I get help with my writing assignments?
Yes. We have a tutor from the Writing Center that comes in to help students with writing assignments issues and questions. The Writing Center assignments still must be turned in at the Writing Center. The writing tutor's current availability can be found here.

Can I fax or scan in the Computer Commons?
Yes, and it is free. Please ask the Computer Commons staff for assistance.

Computer Commons Location

Gunder Myran Building Second Floor

Gunder Myran Building
View Library Map

Hours of Operation:


 
Fall & Winter Hours:
Monday — Thursday: 7:30am to 10:00pm
Friday: 7:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: noon to 6:00pm
   
Spring & Summer Hours:
Monday — Thursday: 8:00am to 10:00pm
Friday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED

Special hours of the Computer Commons are the same as those of the Bailey Library.

For more information, please call 734-973-3420.


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