The following is a summary of some of the information you need to know as a volunteer lab staffer. It is not intended as an exhaustive list that will address every situation or answer every question. If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Marty J. Wolf.
IMPORTANT: The lab is only open when there is a class being held in it, a faculty member is present, or a volunteer lab staffer is on duty. That means an official volunteer lab staffer is logged in as being “on duty” and is taking responsibility. The person need not be scheduled to work.
- Getting in and locking up
- Recording that you are on duty
- Missing shifts
- Finals Week
If you get to the lab and it is closed, go upstairs to the main desk on third floor and ask them to unlock the lab for you. You must show your Student ID with a valid sticker, which you got when you volunteered.
If the 3rd floor desk is closed, call Campus Security to open the door for you. (Again, be prepared to show them your student ID with valid stickers.) Campus Security is sent a list of the volunteer lab staffers each semester.
When the door is unlocked, make sure the door is open, but the knob is in the locked position (so the door locks automatically when closed). Do NOT leave the door unlocked if you are the last one out. If the door will not lock when you close it, you’ll have to go get someone (from third floor Hagg-Sauer, Campus Security, or a janitor) before leaving.
No one can be in the lab without a faculty member or volunteer lab staffer present. Therefore:
- You may have to ask everyone to leave and then lock up.
- Do not leave this for a faculty member to do. Check if he/she is staying.
- If you’re the last volunteer lab staffer, you’re in charge. You must log yourself in using the duty program (next).
In other words, if you’re the last volunteer lab staffer in the room, don’t just leave.
There is a simple program on the CS server that you have to run when you go on duty as a volunteer lab staffer. Use secure shell to connect to CS. You can do so from both a Linux box (ssh cs.bemidjistate.edu) or a Windows box (using putty).
Once you have logged on to CS, type duty. You will be asked a few questions. At this point, you can leave yourself logged in or log yourself out.
At the end of your shift, you need to go off duty. Again, to do this, make a secure shell connection to CS and then type offduty. Again, you will be asked a few questions. Log yourself out and leave the lab. If you forget to run the offduty program before leaving the lab, you can run it once you get back home.
If you don’t know how to add paper to the printer, find out! Students and faculty will be unhappy if you’re working and they can’t get their assignment that’s due in 15 minutes because you can’t load paper.
Make sure people aren’t printing object files or executable files or stuff that is generally not humanly readable. If someone does, try turning the printer off for a few seconds and on again to reset it; it’s probably goofed up. Try to find out who did it and stop them from doing it again! If the problem persists, contact the student’s instructor. On the Linux side, there may be a few things that you can do to help (if you want to). See the Printer Hints.
Students and faculty expect the lab to be open during the times listed on the schedule. Your fellow students also tend to get upset when a volunteer lab staffer doesn’t show up promptly to keep the lab open for them. Also, it’s not fair to make another volunteer lab staffer wait around (possibly making him/her late for class!) only to have you not show up so he/she has to ask people to leave.
So, we have to have some policies:
- If you must miss your shift, it’s up to YOU to find a replacement for yourself. Check the schedule for a list of other lab workers. If you aren’t sure of the real name of a worker listed on the schedule, you can find out by logging into the CS server and typing:
grep <Name> /etc/passwd
- Please inform the CS Lab assistants of the change, by having the replacement person send a quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org that says, “I am substituting for X”.
- One (1) unexcused absence or two (2) excused absences means you lose your sticker and its privileges.
UNexcused means you didn’t email the CS Lab Assistants;
Excused means you tell the CS Lab assistants, but you never find a replacement.
- If you get someone to work for you, that doesn’t count against you.
- If your replacement doesn’t show, that does count against you. Remind your replacement!
You do NOT have to work your shift during Finals Week, BUT, if you can staff it during any time slot (not necessarily the one you signed up for), it would really be appreciated by both your fellow students and the faculty. People still have assignments and projects due that week, and if the lab is locked up, they can’t get in to work.
This week is *truly* volunteer, but you’ll have the undying gratitude of other students and the faculty if you can volunteer a couple of hours.