Though there are thousands of students with electronics on campus, fewer than 500 have registered their equipment with the Department of Public Safety’s computer registration program, which was launched last semester.
The program, which currently has 432 people and 516 pieces of equipment registered, aims to prevent the theft of laptops and other electronics by providing anyone with a valid uniqname who signs up on the DPS website with two stickers. One sticker simply identifies the computer as registered and the other has a DPS barcode on it with an identification number.
While DPS and library officials say the program will help students find their stolen computers, they are still working to get more students registered.
Stephen Hipkiss, a member of the Campus Safety and Security Advisory committee and facility manager at the Hatcher Graduate Library, said one strength of the program is simply the awareness it raises among students.
“It’s one more way to remind people that they need to take responsibility for themselves,” he said.
While Hipkiss has seen the stickers on a number of students’ laptops in the Hatcher Graduate Library, he said there should be more students registered given the number of laptops on campus.
He added that despite the low number of students registered, the program will ultimately aid the department in their search for other stolen electronics.
“If the authorities manage to locate one laptop through this program, they will be able to close multiple cases,” he said.
Alex Serwer, Michigan Student Assembly Business School representative and Campus Improvement Commission chair, said he hopes to see more students registering for the program. He added that MSA will be working throughout the semester to promote the program and get more students to register.
“I’m really confident that that number will rise,” Serwer said.
Though the program was working out its initial kinks last semester, DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said it’s still important for students to register. DPS’s website advertised that students would receive their stickers within two weeks of registering, but Brown said the turnaround was initially much slower as the department began to familiarize itself with the program.
“We continued to refine the work process to make registration clearer to the laptop owners and more likely to capture accurate mailing information,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Michigan Daily.
Brown said another reason for the delay was the DPS fall schedule, which was made “hectic” by eight football games played at home. The program, Brown said, is now in full swing with students receiving their stickers on time.
Brown reiterated this message, and said if students are mindful of their belongings, the opportunity for theft should be reduced.