With the exception of exam times, it’s usually easy to find a computer in one of Bates’ labs. During exams, every building on campus is packed, and study space is as coveted as billboard space in Times Square. Despite the availability of computers, most students opt to bring their own because it is much more convenient, especially late at night when most labs are closed. It helps to have your own computer, but it is not necessary to buy one from the school. Computer labs are often filled with students who actually own computers and are simply seeking an environment with fewer distractions so they can get work done. When students absolutely have to get a paper done, sometimes it helps to work anywhere but their own room. In these cases, the computer labs are really handy.
The biggest flaw with computer resources at Bates is the limited amount of printers in the library, which get slow when 15 students try to print at once. Other than that, Bates is very technologically equipped. If you experience a problem on your own computer, you can take it to the computer help desk. They’re capable of dealing with simple problems, but oftentimes, they aren’t able to help with more complex technological issues, especially those involving Macs. Therefore, exceptionally computer-literate students often become very popular in their dorms—especially Apple experts, since very few people at Bates know much about them. The network at the College is fast compared to those at other schools. In the past, the network had been very slow on occasion, but the school firewalled most of the music-downloading frequencies, and it’s been consistently much faster. Bates does provide a number of online resources, such as subscriptions to journals and the Oxford English Dictionary. Most students, however, will find they spend at least as much time instant messaging their friends and going on Facebook as they do typing papers and doing research.