By Nicole Veenstra
For years, this has been a PC place — but things have changed. At Rider, the growing presence of Macbook laptops and iMacs in classrooms is sparking further debate over whether the university is becoming a Mac campus.
According to Rhon Fitzwater, a Rider technology support specialist, the number of people using Macs continues to rise.
“I would guess the student-owned percentage of Mac to PC is at least 50-50 right now and growing each year in favor of Mac,” he said.
Although there are no official statistics about which computer is used more often, Carol Kondrach, associate vice president for information technologies, says she is “observing more students using Macs.”
However, the trend is less clear in computers purchased by Rider.
“Approximately 20 percent of university-owned computers in computer labs, offices and classrooms are Macs,” Kondrach said. “Approximately 80 percent of university-owned computers are PCs.”
While the university does not keep records on student computers, Kondrach adds that she is “observing more students using Macs.”
But after surveying 162 randomly selected Rider students on both the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses, it was found that PC computers are preferred by 57 percent of the student population.
However, when asked whether they feel that Rider will become a Mac campus in the future, 75 percent of the students surveyed answered yes, showing that Mac laptops are beginning to gather a following as the years go on.
Currently, there are more PCs on campus than Macs. However, two PC labs on campus, one in Sweigart and one in Fine Arts, were both recently refurbished with Apple iMacs.
While some students prefer the sleek look and graphics of a Mac, others are more attracted to other brands. A person needs to weigh the speed and memory space of the computer along with the price and size.
“I got my Mac as a present,” said freshman Sam Cahill. “At first, I was concerned about whether it would be worth the price, but it’s worked out well so far.”
Another freshman feels that the price of a Mac alone isn’t worth the purchase.
“Macs are better quality, I think, but I have a less expensive laptop that works fine for me,” said Katie Green. “Maybe if I had an extra thousand dollars lying around, I would buy a Mac.”
At the end of the day, the price of a PC is more reasonable than a Mac, but Macs have other benefits that make up for their expense.
“The biggest advantage with [Mac] computers now is that you can run both Windows and Mac OS X on the same computer,” Fitzwater said. “This gives faculty, staff and students the option to choose what they will use based on their needs.”
For the results of the poll, see p. 8.