Smithies use computers quite often, for both personal and academic reasons. While visiting Facebook, The New York Times, and Feministing.com every five minutes seems excessive, many students say that checking their e-mail multiple times a day is necessary to keep up with news from professors, classmates, and housemates. Most campus and house events are advertised via e-mail, and weekly bulletins like the Smith eDigest and near-daily Career Development Office e-mails advertise lectures, exhibitions, performances, and job and internship opportunities that are not to be missed.
Many professors assign homework on Smith’s Moodle website, and students often participate in discussions in online forums to prepare for class. Many classes used to offer large course packets with the semester’s readings, but they no longer do because they are expensive to print due to copyright laws and expensive to buy as a student. As a result, most readings are now online, and students must either strain their eyes or spend money to print the materials themselves. While Smith has many computer labs and only a small percentage of students use their computers to take notes in class, it’s worth investing in a laptop for convenience sake. Students who buy a computer through the College’s Information Technology Services (ITS) automatically get a four-year warranty. It doesn’t cover everything, but if you spill juice on your keyboard or drop it on the floor they’ll fix or replace it for free. ITS also sends out virus warnings and new software to students.