SCARPIEs across campus are now requiring a student, faculty or staff Identikey login in order to be used, a change that some groups on campus hope will help ensure that students have full access to campus resources.
These public-computer kiosks, situated in various locations campus-wide, are fully funded by student fees and the mandating of Identikey logins is an effort to keep them as resources primarily for student use, said Greg Stauffer, the public relations and communications manager of Information Technology Services.
“I think in requiring authentication we wanted to make sure that students who fund these [SCARPIEs] entirely get the kind of access to them that they desire and without that authentication, anyone can use them at any time,” Stauffer said.
Stauffer said ITS was approached by the University of Colorado Student Government to make the change to the kiosks to better ensure CU students could access the computers when they need rather than allowing any community member to utilize them.
“They [CUSG] approached us and asked us about doing this,” Stauffer said. “We had a conversation with them about it, this was something that student government was very much behind.”
CUSG President Will Taylor, a 23-year-old senior political science and English double-major, said he received student complaints regarding the use of the computers for extended periods of time by people unaffiliated with the university.
“A number of students, myself included, were concerned about their inability to use the SCARPIE computers due to community members not only using the computers, but also ignoring and dramatically exceeding the service’s recommended time limits,” Taylor said.
Robert Axmacher, the investigations bureau commander for the CU Police Department said that CUPD has handled instances of fraud and harassment that have led back to SCARPIE kiosks.
“We have had cases involving either fraud or harassment where the terminals were used either to send harassing messages or otherwise make a fraudulent transaction,” Axmacher said.
Axmacher said the challenge for CUPD was often once they had traced these transactions back to the specific computers it was difficult to identify suspects because anyone was capable of using the SCARPIE.
Axmacher said he hoped that by requiring Identikey logins, CUPD would better be able to deal with such situations.
“I think, hopefully, this will help us out in some future situations,” he said. “It’s always nice when things come from a student initiative or student leadership.”
Stauffer said that even when requiring an Identikey login, ITS is not able to monitor the sites visited by someone’s Identikey.
“What we’re focused on is what these kiosks were intended for: student use,” he said. “There’s no policing that sort of thing.”
Christy Horber, a 21-year-old junior architecture major who works as a community support staff member in Bear Creek Apartments, said that she has never received any complaints regarding community members using the SCARPIEs.
“Typically it’s residents [using them] for checking emails to see if we’ve sent them an email regarding packages,” Horber said. “Also, we get tours from transfer students who don’t yet have an Identikey, but they don’t usually use the SCARPIEs, it’s primarily residents.”
Horber said she thinks this change will affect those who are touring the building.
“If someone from the community wanted to use it or parents or someone who’s visiting, it would be harder for them,” she said. “Or they wouldn’t be able to use them at all.”
Stauffer said that during orientation and tours, potential students and their families wouldn’t be completely without access to computers.
“There are some computers still in the libraries that, particularly in Norlin, that ITS doesn’t operate and the libraries do that don’t require authentication,” he said. “Norlin is becoming more that hub, for students that come during tours and orientation, so they remain without needing authentication.”
Stauffer said he thinks overall the change will positively affect the CU community.
“From a student perspective, this is a great thing for them,” he said. “Trying to lock these down is not done to make it harder for folks but to protect resources and computers.”
For a list of SCARPIE locations visit the ITS website.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Sarah Simmons at Sarah.email@example.com.