Where have all the computers gone?

October 26, 2009 by  

When Kwantlen journalism students came back to school in September, 26 four-year-old Apple computers had been replaced in their lab, as well as six in a production rooms reserved specifically for students in the program.

Students didn’t only want to know why the computers had been replaced, they wanted to know where the old computers went, and whether they could get their hands on them.

The answer is maybe.

Juilien Phillips, Graphic Design and Marketing systems supervisor, who worked closely with the Journalism program, told The Chronicle that all of the university’s computers need to be upgraded to newer versions every four years. “[The older computers] would not be able to manage the software we put on them [this year],” he added.

Some computers get distributed throughout the university, where even older versions need upgrades, and the other are put into storage.

That’s where Scott Gowen,, Kwantlen’s Director of Supply and Business Service, comes in. When the computers are put into storage, Gowen is notified. He then liaises between Kwantlen’s IET Department and the B.C. Government’s Asset Investment Recovery (AIR).

Because Kwantlen has a policy that prevents sale of surplus equipment to faculty, staff and students, the unneeded computers have to go to B.C. AIR, or are donated to Afretech, Gowen said. Afretech is an organization based in Delta that was started by two Kwantlen instructors. Its purpose is to collect surplus supplies from places that no longer needed them,  including Kwantlen, and donate them to schools in rural Africa.

Gowen is letting students in on a little secret.

“This November ,another shipment of Mac computers will be sent to B.C. AIR where they will be available for purchase by any member of the public, including Kwantlen employees and students,” he wrote.

The company, which deals with a cash-and-carry program as well as online-auctioning, is offering a “special back-to-school deal on laptops and computers.” The surplus equipment is available at  B.C. AIR warehouses (located in Surrey, Victoria, and Prince George) or through their online auctions.

Information on cash and carry sales and auctions are available at the B.C. AIR website.


One Response to “Where have all the computers gone?”

  1. Chelsea on October 27th, 2009 11:54 am

    Im not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
    So, yes, the computers are for sale, but they’re not going to needy people in Africa…

    The design students working on the latest industry software shouldn’t be buying four year old computers anyway, maybe they can get away with one year old refurbished.

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