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Open Computer Lab - FAQ

  • students study in computer lab

Who May use the Open Labs at MEC?

  • Currently enrolled students at NOVA or GMU may use the Open Labs. GMU Photo ID may be requested.
  • Staff and Faculty may use the Open Centers and the Technology Learning Center.
  • Exceptions may be granted to alumni and members of the community at the discretion of a center supervisor and to the extent that it does not prevent student access to a computer.

What can I use the lab computers to do?

  • The computers in the Open Labs may be used for college related tasks and activities.
    • Software: Only college owned and/or course required software may be used on the computers. Microsoft Office is available as well as software which supports specific programs.
    • Internet: Students performing research on the Internet shall have priority over those who are "surfing the Web" for recreation or personal use. The computers are not intended to be used for games or pornographic activities.
  • Please bring your own 3.5" disks or USB thumb drives. Some capability for copying to CD is available. The lab is not responsible for lost disks.

  • At the end of each class, please close all applications and return to the original screen.
Policy on Appropriate Computer Use:
  • Students may not save on hard disk unless instructed to save in a specific directory.
  • Do not change any of the software or hardware configurations under ANY circumstances.
  • Do not attempt repairs or adjustments on the equipment yourself. If you have a problem, contact one of the Lab Staff or put a note on the monitor indicating that it is malfunctioning.
  • Reproducing computer software without permission violates the U.S. Copyright law.
  • Using computer technology to access other students work without permission is prohibited.
  • Students who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

See Student Handbook: Section VII: Information Technology Student/ Patron Ethics Agreement and NOVA Computer Use Agreement for complete policy. 

I have an assignment to create a PowerPoint. Can someone help me with this?

  • Lab instructors can assist you with using applications from Microsoft Office, as well as specialized lab software, though they will not do the work for you. If you are unsure of the assignment, see your instructor.

What if I have my own laptop -- can I access the network?

  • Student Laptop and Personal Computers may be hooked up to the college network using wireless connections. (See directions.)

How can I print in the Lab? 

  • Open Lab computers print to a network printer.
  • Printing utilizes a copy card system. You will need to add money to your NOVACard or purchase a visitor card in order to print from the network printer. The CSVT station where you can add money or purchase a card is located just outside the library entrance. Be sure to bring money for the CSVT.
  • Only use supplied paper for printers unless other permission is granted by the Lab Manager.