The Norse Tech Bar is considering options to extend the amount of time a device can be checked out from their borrowers program, which would allow students who check out devices, such as tablets and digital cameras, to keep them for as long as a week, as opposed to to the current checkout period of two days.
“The rental is getting ready to go through a bit of a change,” said Dave Groeschen, Customer Systems manager for Norse Tech Bar. “It was a two day rotation, and we are exploring making that a longer rotation, so that you can keep it out for longer.”
The Norse Tech Bar currently has a 48 hour rental program that allows students to check out several high-end tech devices including Apple iPads, iPad minis, Microsoft Surface tablets, Samsung Galaxy Notes, and digital cameras, as well as laptops, such as Macbook Pro and Airs, as well as Dell Latitudes.
Groeschen said that the extension to the rental program has now begun, due to the success of the program and the Norse Tech Bar as a whole.
“It’s really been very successful,” Groeschen said. “People for the most part have been very respectful of the devices. We’ve had a couple of issues of breakage with the iPads, where the screens got cracked, but beyond that it’s very successful.”
According to Donna Menzer, a business informatics major, and the most senior member of the seven person student staff team of the Norse Tech Bar, the rental program is the most popular service offered by the tech bar.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to experience new things,” Menzer said. “Sometimes we have a greedy person who doesn’t want to bring [their device] back.”
For students who check out a device and do not bring it back to the tech bar in time, there is a steep penalty fee of $50 per day, which compound each day until the initial cost of the device has been reached, at which point the student is charged for the full replacement of the device.
Groeschen said that so far, returning devices has not been a problem, and the tech bar has only had to penalize renters with fees on a few occassions.
Apart from the rental service, Groeschen says that the biggest service the tech bar provides to students is assistance with their own devices, as well as troubleshooting with NKU’s systems and network.
“Norse Tech Bar is the central area for students to come if they need help with any kind of IT issues,” said Groeschen.
The Norse Tech Bar also offers students access to new creative technologies,such as a 3D printer and a host of dedicated desktops fully installed with Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver.
Although the idea of a technology service center is still a novel one, NKU is not the first university in Kentucky to implement one.
“There are other universities in the state that are doing similar things, Eastern Kentucky University has one as well,” Groeschen said.