Cyber Café to get major upgrade in Union East building

Christian Vasquez, Copy Editor

A new Cyber Café will soon be open on the second floor of the Union, where the faculty and staff lounge used to be. The new technology center was a collaboration between the Office of Information and Planning and the Division of Student Affairs.

Frank Poblano, the director of technology support, said the café was a response by technology support to answer students’ needs.

“Every year we do get all the responses from the students, who complete the surveys, who can provide feedback on the technology services that we offer for them,” Poblano said. “One of the things that we have seen over the years is that students who would use the old cyber café, they would say ‘we really need more computers.’”

The café will feature new Macintosh computers with access to the Adobe Creative Cloud, which has programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premier.

“We’ll have a lab administrator, this is a full-time employee who is going to be there 8-5,” Poblano said. “(They’re) going to be always there and we’ll have one or two undergraduate assistants, student positions.”

Like the technology center on the third floor of the UTEP Library, the Cyber Café will also include a rental service for laptops, cameras and camcorders.

“The other kind of equipment going in there is going to be a poster printer, our students will be able to do their large-format print jobs in the Cyber (Café), using the print allocation funds that they already get every semester,” Poblano said.

The café was funded from Union and technology fees that students pay in their tuition.

Poblano said if students are familiar with the tech support center at the library, they’ll see the new Cyber Café as an extension of the technology support center.

The Bhutan Lounge (in front of the café) will remain an open area for students to use their laptops.

“It’s going to become a mobile-friendly space, where students with their own devices can use a table or use a chair to use their equipment,” Poblano said. “Students who are just using the open space in the Bhutan Lounge can just walk over if they have any problems with their own device. They can walk into the Cyber Café and get assistance there no matter what the technology may be.”

The Cyber Café is going to be open during Union hours, which are Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Update: The Cyber Café will have 60 new computers. Thirty-six will be Dells with Windows installed and 24 will be Macs.