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New Student FAQs

Q: Are students required to own a computer?
A: Randolph College believes that bringing a computer to campus is purely a personal decision. The majority of our six student computer labs, as well as the residence hall lounges that contain computers, are open 24 hours a day, so it is quite possible for you to get along fine without one.

However, we have found that not only do most students find it easier to work in the privacy of their own residence hall rooms, they also appreciate having easy access to our campus-wide network for high-speed Internet access, multimedia resources and instant communication with professors, fellow students, friends, and family. So, even though we do not require students to own a computer, the fact is that the majority of our students do, and survey results over the past several years have shown a steady increase in that percentage.
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Q: What if I do want to bring one?
A: We recommend that incoming students who choose to bring their own computers do so according to the specifications outlined on the computer requirements page.

If you are buying a new computer, we strongly recommend the purchase of a three-year, enhanced on-site warranty contract. Randolph College Information Technology is unable to support student hardware issues; however, there are local companies that support computers for a fee.

Although Randolph College does not sell computers to students, we do have a partnership with Dell and Apple that provides a discount through the Web.
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Q: What is Dell’s warranty policy?
A: If you have a problem with equipment purchased from Dell, you may call their toll-free number (1-800-WWW-DELL) for technical support. Their standard is a three-year, on-site warranty for desktops—defective hardware will be replaced on campus for three years but warranties are specific to your individual purchase. Please check with your vendor to verify details of your warranty.
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Q: Should I buy a notebook or desktop?
A: The choice between a notebook and a desktop system depends solely on your needs. Most notebook screens, processing power, and peripherals now match desktop systems and, while you may pay more for a notebook with the same configuration as its desktop equivalent, the mobility and convenience is, in many cases, well worth the price.
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Q: Can I use an Apple Macintosh at Randolph College?
A: There are students who prefer Macs over PCs and because of this, we do provide support for Apple Macintosh systems. We also have Macs in our Learning Resource Center (LRC) available for student use.
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Q: Do I need a printer?
A: As with bringing a computer to college, having a printer is also a matter of personal preference. Many students have printers connected to their personal computers so that they can print in their rooms. However, a printer is not required as all public computer labs have laser printers available for student use. You will be given a print subsidy—a specified number of pages you can print each semester for free. Print costs in excess of this subsidy will need to be paid at the IT Help Desk. Unfortunately, we cannot charge your college account. In addition, personal computers used in residence hall rooms cannot be connected to lab printers.
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Q: Do I need an Ethernet interface, a modem, or both?
A: All residence hall rooms have a direct Ethernet connection to the Randolph network. To take advantage of that connection, your computer will need an Ethernet network interface card (NIC). Newly purchased systems from Dell and Apple come with this feature already included. If you have an older system you will need to check to see if this feature is installed and that you have the software properly configured. The Help Desk cannot assist with the installation of NIC cards.
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Q: What type of network account will I have?
A: All Randolph College students have accounts on our network servers. These servers handle all student e-mail, network printing, web browsing, network storage of files, and sharing of data and information. New students are required to attend a computer orientation session during Orientation Week in order to learn about Randolph College network policies.
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Q: Who can answer questions and solve problems?
A: The Help Desk is available year-round to assist students, faculty, and staff with their computing needs. To reach us, simply call 434-947-8103, e-mail us at , or visit our office on the fifth floor of the Leggett Building. Help Desk hours can be found by clicking here .
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Q: What is RandolphNet?
A: Information Technology offers you the ability to connect your computer to the Randolph College network (RandolphNet). This service allows you to access electronic mail and other Internet resources from the comfort of your room. RandolphNet will provide the tools needed to access on-line information such as the Lipscomb Library, the World Wide Web, telnet sites, and to send/receive e-mail.

In order to connect you to the network, the Information Technology staff will provide instructions. If there are issues involved with your connection to our network, we will spend one hour troubleshooting with you. After one hour, if the system fails to work properly, you will be required to seek assistance from an outside vendor.
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Q: What are your computer system requirements?
A: System requirements for PC and MAC computers and laptops can be found by clicking here . PC users have the option of either providing their own anti-virus or Randolph College can provide the latest version of Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition to them free of charge. Our server will keep the virus definitions updated on a continual basis.

If you do not meet ALL of the above PC or Macintosh requirements, we will still attempt to connect your computer but cannot guarantee that it will work on our network.
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Q: What software is used on campus?
A: Randolph College is standardized on the use of Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows 7 and MS Office 2011 for Macintosh OSX. All students write and revise papers using MS Word and manipulate spreadsheets using MS Excel. Randolph College provides its users with the latest in Internet browser software on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.
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