ODU students will let you know that despite the convenience of having several computer labs spread throughout the University campus, they are always filled with other students who would rather hog the terminals for late-night AIM chats and random, useless e-mail checks. Aside from scheduling for classes online and maybe checking a grade or two after classes have ended, Old Dominion does not even stress that students carry their own computer—that is simply a requirement of the Y generation: to be permanently connected to some type of Internet. However, the computers that Old Dominion does have are—while not necessarily top-of-the-line—up-to-date, efficient, and working properly. ODU has an Ethernet setup as well as hotspots throughout the campus so that students can set their laptops down and connect, as long as they have a password set up by MIDAS, an identification system. However, because students have to log into the wireless system before surfing the net, ODU can monitor which sites they visit, even from their rooms. So be careful if you’re into downloading music or something; students have been penalized for using the Internet to access illegal things. Things like porn, however, might be tracked and judged, but you won’t get in trouble for watching it, as long as you’re doing it legally.
Although the labs allow students to print up to 250 pages per semester for free, afterwards there is a charge, which could obviously add up to some serious bucks for all those students who like to hit the print button a few too many times when printing documents. Besides, the labs are really cramped when they are filled to their capacity with students—it makes working on papers totally claustrophobic. The computer labs are really for students who just don’t have access to a computer—not for the average ODU student. At the same time, however, the labs can be a stimulus for productivity because you’re in a quiet environment designed for working, rather than at home with the TV running, your bed staring at you from across the room, and your roommates talking in the other room. The level of crowdedness in the lab depends on the time of the semester. If it’s mid-terms or finals week, good luck finding a computer, but any other time, you can usually get the seat you need