Skip Navigation

The forgotten sister: are we the neglected campus? Part 1 of 2

By Virginia Limon, '21

|Photo: Alinoe Roussie, Nautilus Staff

A few computers at Jack K. Williams Library have been unusable due to hardware issues for nearly 2 months at the time of writing.

Every May, freshmen engineering students will move away to College Station to continue their academic career and never look back. Meanwhile, most of us will continue our education at TAMUG wishing and hoping for better resources or even an iota of improvement in our facilities. In the meantime, the administration adds new buildings that students only use occasionally. The freshman that left will only realize how bad it is at TAMUG once they move on to a better campus with better equipment and services. I, among others, feel that our campus is severely neglected, especially considering that we pay the same tuition and nearly identical fees as students at the College Station campus. Being a former student at main campus in College Station and seeing the neglect that this campus suffers is heartbreaking.

The problems around campus range from the lack of information dissemination to the inadequacy of tangible resources. In the TAMUG Students Facebook group Cody Seals, a junior marine transportation major, posed the question: “What do y’all see as some of the biggest issues facing TAMUG and it’s students?” The answers included many of those outlined below as well as responses from other students on campus.


One of the most commonly mentioned issues in the responses to the Facebook post was the need for a “better,” “bigger,” or a general use ship for the campus. The preponderance of requests were for the maritime academy however, other students such as Erica Warner, a sophomore marine biology student, expressed interest in an interdepartmental collaborative ship. Students should, at the very least be informed of the reasoning the campus is having difficulty acquiring a new ship; most notably, due to the fact that TAMUG is a maritime focused campus. Acquiring such a ship will have many applications for other departments as well as the maritime academy.

Information, in general, is often hard to come by. Sometimes a search of the TAMUG website will help, but not always. More often than not, information seems to be available but no one knows how to find it. Student organization events are nearly impossible to find unless you follow the particular organization closely or are a member. According to Mackenzie Yoder, a member of the TAMUG Students Facebook group, much of the campus information is also inaccurate or outdated. Lack of information on software availability, which computers run them, and where they are located.

To help address the problems with information, some practices can be streamlined or put into processes that can be duplicated. In the fast paced world we live in, things change quickly and often. This is regularly not communicated, consequently information becomes outdated and incorrect. By setting up procedures and documenting them, the updated information is disseminated properly and reduces misinformation. For student organizations, posting an event can be cumbersome and time consuming. There are dozens of questions when entering an event on Wheelhouse that are irrelevant for simple weekly meetings. Main campus publishes a software list which we need as well.


Other common complaints on campus pertain to the computers and technology utilized in the library. On main campus, they have the Open Access Labs (OALs) where each student logs in with their unique account that includes personal storage for documents and settings. This campus has several small computer rooms spread throughout various locations. These locations are open for use to anyone which can be helpful, but this can also be a problem. These campus computers are generally not setup to handle open public access.

Additionally, the software, or the lack thereof, is inadequate for the needs of the students. Last semester, many computers required Flash Player updates in order to use web pages such as Sapling, which is a requirement for freshman chemistry classes. In addition, most computers lack the required free software for the freshman engineering programming classes, such as Anaconda.

Access to Adobe products are incredibly inconvenient and inconsistent. Students only have two complicated options: (1) hope The Studio is open or (2) use the library’s rental laptops. The Studio is difficult to use due to their hours being random and not posted in a location that is easy to find. Overall, the laptops are nearly impossible to use (for the Adobe products) because they are just not formatted correctly.

Software is not the only technological problem. Hardware is also extremely problematic and neglected. Last semester, the library had an entire table of computers that either did not power on correctly or did not connect to the internet. This semester, we continue to have several computers that do not function properly. It appears nothing is being done to fix any of them. The printers are also a common source of frustration for the students as they are often broken in some form or fashion. For most of this semester, the color printer in the library has been out of service and as of the publication date of this issue, it still is. The availability of two black and white printers helps to mitigate issues for more common printing jobs; however, when the color printer is needed and is in disrepair, the backup options are less clear.

Implementing better privacy settings on the computers would be a good place to start by doing things such as allowing or prompting for password saves. The campus should consider posting reminders on the desktop image or with physical signs to remind students to logout of their accounts. It is not uncommon for students to come from a home where they or their family members are the only ones using a computer. These students do not always think twice about leaving their accounts logged in.

In addition, the academic and technology departments need better communication. The academic departments should be sharing the technological requirements with the technology department to make sure the students’ needs are met.

Access to Adobe products can be improved by posting the hours of operation of The Studio each semester and/or offering access outside of those hours by contacting a staff member. The laptops should be properly formatted and tested before being set out for use. Placing information about who to contact with questions, comments, or concerns about the laptops would be another way to help. Do we just tell the library staff? Contact help desk? Is there an email address we can send to? All are questions students often need assistance with.

Being familiar with the OALs at main campus, the staff was required to post a sign on computers that did not work to alert the users not only to not use the machine, but to let them know the staff was aware of the issue. This will also aid in not wasting students’ time fighting with computers that are not working, causing more frustration.

To put it bluntly, the printers on this campus need an upgrade. If they are unable to handle the load, they need to be replaced. The OAL printers on main campus are almost never down for more than a day and have several backup options.The fact that the color printer has been out of service for over two months is unacceptable. The only reason I was aware of an additional color printer on this campus was due to student comments on a post about the color printer being down. This information should absolutely be posted.