EIU technology shows disparities across campus


Jake Wilson

Booth Library offers multiple Adobe programs on their computers on the fourth floor for students to use.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Numerous programs are not uniform throughout Eastern’s campus. One of the main softwares that are not uniform throughout campus is Adobe.

Many students need these programs on the school’s computers, and they are not available on the latest programs.

Some computers have older versions of computers of programs, such as Adobe 2021 programs, while others have Adobe 2022 programs. With this, there may be files that need to be transferred from one computer to another, but are unable to due to the lack of the latest software.

This causes an issue for students who have to move from software to software.

Jules Walsher, a junior television and video production major, encounters issues with the lack of consistency throughout programs on Eastern’s campus.

Walsher waits a few days before working on projects because different computers that she wants to work on have different versions of Adobe programs, which must be converted to other ones.

Walsher said this issue has been a problem in multiple classes of hers.

“I think the biggest issue I had isn’t the versions, but it’s the fact that all of the computers in the libraries don’t have all of the Adobe software on them, and it’s frustrating,” Walsher said.

Walsher explained how she needed Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator for one of her classes, but the majority of the computers in the library did not have the software’s until the stumbled upon a random one that was not in the common area known as the ‘fishbowl’ on the fourth floor of Booth Library.

Walsher said that the older Macintosh computers had all the Adobe programs on them, but these computers were recently replaced.

Walsher also has an issue with these new computers because they do not have USB ports and require special adapters.

“Not every student has an adapter because as a production student, I work with a lot of videos and a lot of photography, so I use a physical hard drive, which I plug in via USB, but these new Mac computers don’t have a USB port,” Walsher said. “They have some weird little thing where you need a dongle for it… It’s just a little bit annoying, like you’d think it’d be an upgrade. Not only do you get fewer Adobe programs on it, but I don’t have anywhere to actually transfer my work there on the new computers, which was pretty frustrating to be honest.”

Walsher is also in an audio class and was supposed to use Adobe Audition, a digital audio software, to work on the file for that class. Since the computers do not have the some of the up-to-date Adobe files, Walsher had to use Adobe Premiere, a video editing software, and convert the file to an mp3 file.

“I did work around it, I was still able to mix my audio, just not in the depth as I would with audition,” Walsher said.

Students have to work around the discrepancies that Eastern places around campus, which causes it to be a challenge to get work done.

They must go through obstacles to use programs that do not even allow them to do their best.

If students are forced to work in the library, they may to have to stop working at a certain time due to the closing hours, and they may not be able to continue doing their work since the computers wipe information after a certain amount of time.

Ryan Bevers, a sophomore television and video production major, understands the struggle with the irregularities on campus.

“I bought [Adobe] Premiere because I knew that there would be problems like this,” Bevers said.

Bevers work on his personal computer but he had to pay for the Adobe applications, which cost over $200 per application.

People can pay monthly plans for the applications, which is around $20 depending on the plan, but after a while that starts to add up, and at the end of the year totals to $240.

To some, that may not be a lot, but for college students, that can take a toll on their bank accounts.

“I’m taking a class right now that requires me to get [Adobe] Illustrator and you can buy a bigger plan, but that’s going to add up,” Bevers said.

In some departments, these Adobe products are required to complete a job or an assignment and without them, students are deprived of being successful.

“People should have that freedom to go to these laptops and feel comfortable enough that they can take their file that they edited on, like library computers and bring it to a production room or another place,” Bevers said.

Bevers said that it is not fair for students to pay a lot of money in tuition to go to the university but they are not presented with the latest software’s and have to go through different obstacles to complete their work.

Bevers runs a morning radio show with two of his friends and said they needed the latest and greatest programs to do their jobs. He said the radio station where he works prides itself on being very professional, but some students are not presented with the devices needed to be as professional as they can be.

“If [students] want to be professional, [they] need to have professional tools and professional tools comes with having the most up to date and latest software that you can have,” Bevers said.

Bevers related the situation with giving someone a job and setting them up to fail.

Some students are not able to have their own personal computers which is another issue, so they have to rely on these programs.

He believes getting all the Adobe programs on the same page would be beneficial and easier for students, even if that means not having the latest.

Ryan Gibson, the executive director for Information Technology Services said that having the standard application across Eastern’s campus, it is sometimes not “viable.”

“Occasionally the newest version of Adobe isn’t compatible with the hardware of a given computer lab or the coursework being taught is being geared toward a specific version of the Adobe software, which might not be the newest version,” Gibson said.

He also said the university licenses Adobe software’s for all computer labs which is accessible for all students.

Bailey Annan, senior television, and video production major, also uses Adobe Premiere and Adobe Audition and has had issues with the non-uniformity across campus.

Annan said she was “stuck” in Buzzard Hall on a Friday last semester for eight hours. She had a project due the following Monday at 8 a.m.

She planned to work on the project over the weekend at Booth but the computers there had two different years of the programs which would not sync together properly.

“I spent a Friday afternoon and evening in Buzzard because it was due Monday morning and Buzzard is closed during the weekends,” Annan said.

Annan said even with the computer upgrades in Booth, the problem still remains and said that it is “very frustrating.”

Annan said even with only editing in Buzzard, other problems are still present. The hours to obtain help are limited because some of the doors are not unlocked and to unlock them, they would need to go to an office for assistance, but they are not always opened.

Annan also runs into problems with Booth along with not having the programs. There are not SD card slots available. With this obstacle, Annan said she had to go and find somewhere to put the information from the SD card onto a flash drive, and then go about editing their work.

“It adds so many unnecessary steps, and we can’t even do what we need to do,” Annan said.

Annan looked into purchasing a SD card reader, but the cheapest one they found cost $22, but thought that was a little sketchy. She found the average price to be around $30, but still found it to be an inconvenience.

Additionally, Annan said they are not able to pay the $19.99 student monthly fee for Adobe products.

After the first year, the student discount no longer works, and students must pay a higher monthly fee.

Annan said that she is unable to go to different spaces to complete her work and describes it as “so frustrating.”

Similarly to Bevers, Annan also thinks getting everything on the same year would be a lot easier for students.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].