Examining Sustainability at Barnard

Laptops at Barnard

At Barnard, students will be able to check out the 2020 MacBook Air’s from Digital Humanities Center on the first floor of Milstein.

The goal of the DHC with these laptops is to lend them out for semester-long requests and potentially year-long requests.

This will be extremely helpful for low-income students who either do not have access to laptops or might need access to laptops with better software for their classes. They will also be available for students to borrow for short-term periods should they forget their laptop or run out of battery. The laptops will serve as environmentally friendly products due to their reusability and Apple’s commitment to repairing their products instead of throwing them away. They are also efficient computers as 60% less energy is consumed than the ENERGY STAR energy efficiency requirement. To earn the “ENERGY STAR” products must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Students have previously been able to use the desktop Mac’s found in various rooms around Milstein. Despite these being very powerful computers, some cons are that they are in rooms which can be closed for events or classes. Furthermore, when the library closes or a student cannot be on campus - like during this pandemic - they no longer have access to the computers. 

All Barnard owned computers are under contract.

Although the DHC will have control over the location and use of these incoming MacBooks, they, along with the current desktops found in Milstein and around campus, have very specific contracts with the Barnard College Information Technology (BCIT) department and Apple Inc. The process for computers typically follow these procedures: 
  1. BCIT purchases Macs from Apple based on department approvals - faculty request computers and the Provost approves faculty requests. 
  2. BCIT then preps computers with software and licenses as well as specific programs for the department. 
    1. BCIT has a 3 year warranty with Apple, so any damaged computers can be traded for a replacement within those 3 years.
  3. BCIT supports computers through an extra 4th year. When that 4th year is about to end, they send a communication to faculty that they should make a new request for a laptop.

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