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DTH/JASON COOPER AND
Bv Mark Thomas
Assistant University Editor
Somewhere, Michael Hooker is smiling.
More than two years ago, the late UNC chan
cellor stood before a crowded press conference
and unveiled one of the most ambitious projects
in the University’s history - the Carolina
And if he were here today, Hooker would wit
ness the debut of the groundbreaking program
that requires all freshmen to own laptop com
The initiative represents the first large-scale
effort of its kind at a major university and will
remain a lasting legacy of Hooker, who lost his
Initiative Puts Students
In National Spotlight
Students say the Carolina Computing
initiative is exciting, although some ate
concerned about incorporating their laptops
into their classes and everyday schedules.
By Mark Thomas
Assistant University Editor
As they walk from their resi
dence halls today with laptops
in tow, this year’s freshman class
is making national history.
UNC’s class of 2003 is break
ing new ground by becoming
the largest freshman class to be
required to own laptops.
While Carolina Computing
Initiative administrators have
been touting what they see as
the program’s many benefits,
students themselves are just get
ting the feel of their new
Across campus and specifi
cally among freshmen, opinions
on CCI have been laden with
“I think it is a good idea,”
said Elena Powell, an incoming
freshman from Fayetteville. “If
everyone has to have one, then
we’ll all be on the same level.”
But Powell wasn’t convinced
of the technology’s usefulness.
“I don’t think we are going to
need it. I hope I need it; if not,
I’ll be mad about having to buy it,” she said.
The portability of the new computers is a benefit that few
“It will definitely make things easier when you need to take
work home for the weekend,” said Parker O’Daniel, a fresh
man from New Bern.
The thought of having to make the trek from South
batde with cancer in June 1999.
CCI is a comprehensive effort that includes
updating the technology used by faculty and staff
as well as renovating some of UNC’s more anti
quated facilities to accommodate state-of-the-art
From rewiring some buildings to installing
wireless Internet ports in others, the University is
seeking to enhance students’ learning experience
by making technology, now a staple of academ
ic life, more accessible.
In the classroom, the cafeteria, and everything
in between, UNC’s freshmen class will be able to
log on the Internet across campus.
With the largest freshman class ever required to
own laptop computers and the resources to sup-
Campus to class every day with a laptop and accessories is a
thought that concerns many students.
“I don’t like the idea of having to carry a computer to all
of my classes,” said Walt Crayton, a freshman from Bellefem.
“The battery only lasts like three hours,” said Jesse
Springer, a freshman from Hope Mills. “If you use it for a
whole day, you would have to bring all the (recharging acces-
Freshman Leia Kelly gets help starting up
her new laptop from Chancellor James
Moeser during CCI training last week.
come fully insured and under warranty for four years, some
students worry about carrying such a valuable piece of equip
ment with them to class.
Gibbs said, “It is too much responsibility to have to carry
it around everywhere."
The University Editor can be reached at email@example.com.
That great growling engine of change technology.
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
In 1998, Michael Hooker revealed his dream for UNC: a campuswide
technological initiative that would change the way students learn. His
successor, James Moeser, now inherits what Hooker could not see to fmition.
port that technology partial
ly in place, UNC appears
ever-closer to realizing
Hooker’s goal of a height
ened intellectual climate.
CCI creators said part of
that heightened intellectual
climate is keeping UNC’s
students on the cutting edge
“We want our students to
be as competitive as any in
the country,” said Marian
Moore, vice chancellor for
sories) with you.”
Many students said using their com
puters in class for note-taking purposes
simply would be less efficient.
“I have been writing my notes and
going to class without (a laptop) for 12
years,” said freshman Scott Beaulieu of
“I take better notes on notebook
Incoming freshmen were given their
first opportunity to get their hands on
their new laptops during this summer’s
Upon receiving their laptops, stu
dents were ushered into an orientation
session where they were led through a
variety of the computer’s basic func
tions, including e-mail and Internet class
But like the initiative itself, the orien
tation met with mixed reviews.
“I thought it sucked,” said Breck
Gibbs, also of New Bern. “It was a lot of
babying. If you don’t know' anything
about computers going into it then
maybe it was beneficial. I just went to
Although the University has estab
lished a repair center and the computers
Moeser should continue to make
his presence felt on campus.
See Page 3
The late Chancellor
introduced CCI in
1998, two years
before its inception.
HHHi i9HL _ _
Chancellor James Moeser takes a break from scooping ice cream and meeting students
at Sunday's Fall Fest as he talks to Steve Bradley, director of the UNC Club Sports Program.
Moeser Reaches Out to Campus
Chancellor James Moeser
put on a T-shirt and helped
incoming freshmen move in
over the weekend.
Bv Kim Minugh
Chancellor James Moeser shouldn’t
have many problems making the tran
sition into UNC’s well-known progres
He may be the new' kid on the block,
but he’s ambitious -and a self-pro
claimed activist at that.
Down to the Wire
For some CCI administrators, one of the main
sticking points of the program was funding, a
point Hooker addressed early on.
To guarantee that no student who wanted a
computer would be left without one, Hooker
established a $3 million fund to be distributed in
the form of grants. To date, nearly 900 grants
have been awarded to this year’s freshman class
“Our commitment is to students. No student
will be turned away because they can’t afford a
computer,” Moore said.
In addition to the grants, the University began
offering pre-approved computer loans to all
freshmen, making UNC the first public univer
sity to do so.
Moeser comes to UNC with a goal
that some may consider more radical
than a three-day sit-in at South Building.
Without a hint of hesitation, Moeser
will tell you he wants UNC to be the
best public university in America under
And he says the crucial step in that
direction is interaction with his new
“I want to be an activist chancellor
engaged with students, faculty and the
people of this state,” he said.
Mocker pledges to he a listener - not
just an icon - for UNC, and he encour
ages his University community to speak
Hooker dies one year before
his plan becomes a reality
Today: Sunny, 84
Wednesday: Sunny, 86
Thursday: Stormy, 86
To keep the price of the laptops as low as pos
sible, Hooker and the CCI team accepted offers
from several different computer firms, including
Dell and Compaq, but it was IBM that came to
the table with the most appealing offer.
“IBM became the laptop of choice following
an extensive bidding process," said Linwood
Futrelle, director of distributed support for
Academic Technology & Networks.
UNC students are paying less for their com
puter than what an IBM employee would receive
through their worker discount.
“It’s an incredible deal,” said Tim
CoyneSmith, a senior project manager with IBM
See CCI, Page 4A
“I want to be able to express what this
University is all about, and in order to
do this I have to listen to students and
staff and faculty," he said.
“Students have to exercise their voic
es and take the opportunity to be
While campaigning statewide for the
$3.1 billion bond package is one of his
highest priorities, he says he is going to
make sure his presence is felt on cam
“It is important for me to be on cam
pus and exercise my leadership here,"
See MOESER, Page 5A
Tuesday, August 22, 2000