Morrill Computer Lab Assistant Responsibilities

Please arrive on time. Over 200 students are depending on you to have the lab open. If you cannot work your hours please call one of the other Lab Assistants and ask them if they can cover your hours. It is your responsibility to find someone to work your hours. As a last resort, call Jonathan a if you cannot find a replacement.


Lab assistants are expected to help students, faculty, and staff who use the lab. When helping users, make it clear to them in advance that you may not be able to answer all their questions. Please have them move the mouse and press all the keys. We know it is easier to take over the keyboard and mouse, but the students learn nothing from this. Even if you know the right answer, see if you can help the students to figure it out by themselves by asking "Well, what do you think is the right answer?" and "Try it and see!". Even if they don't know the right keys and mouse choices, it is most important that they EXPERIMENT.

 Be creative helping students. If you get a student to figure something out and another student is having the same trouble, get the first student to show the second. Encourage students to read the manuals, their notes, and help each other.

 Students taking courses should have first priority for use of the computers at all times. Lab assistants will not be able to use a machine unless there is an unused computer and you have received permission from the instructor (most CDAE/AGRI 85 labs are full and there will not be free machines). You are welcome in the lab at all times, however, when you are in the lab you must be willing to help students.


LaserJet output costs 10 cents per page. If you see students printing (especially a huge job) please gently remind them to put $ in the box. If they have none, tell them to please return with the $ at their earliest convenience. Tell Jonathan who it was. Please encourage conservation of paper (no more than two resume's per person whould be printed). More than two resume's should be done on the photocopier. Use the back of used paper when possible. Spare paper and a toner cartridge should be in the lower right-hand drawer of the lab assistant desk.


All software is on the hard drives inside the Dell Optiplex PCs. Master diskettes are locked in the steel cabinet in the lab. Only lab assistants should go into the steel software cabinet (key in the desk top drawer).

 Jonathan will send UVM Police Services a list of Lab Assistants (copy of letter will be posted on the wall in back of lab). As a lab assistant you will have access to the lab 24 hours a day during the semester. If you will be opening on the weekend, you will be given a lab key for the semester. UVM Police will unlock the building for you, and you will have a key to the lab.

 CLOSING: Warn students at least one half hour ahead that the lab will be closing. If there are many students begging you to keep the lab open past the usual closing time it is OK to keep the lab open (and you can count these hours as time to get paid for Work Study) if you choose.

 PLEASE KEEP THE LAB NEAT AND TIDY! As a lab assistant it is your responsibility to push chairs in, recycle scrap paper, erase the board, turn off all workstations and printers (leave hubs on that are under the bookshelves under the windows), turn off the lights, and lock the door.

 No food or drinks on the benches next to the machines. It is OK for students to eat or drink if they are careful, but not next to the machines! Soda spilled on the keyboard is a $100 accident.

 Encourage people to use walkperson headphones for music listening. Be aware that most students need quiet concentration time in the lab. encourage a quiet and friendly work space.


Record of your workstudy hours will be kept via electronic timesheet on the Web: and on the LAB ASSISTANT  SIGN IN sheets that will be on the lab assistant desk in the back of the lab. 

 Deadline for submission of electronic timesheets is every other Monday at 8:00 am. Checks are generated every other week. You must keep up with reporting your hours for the two-week pay period. It will be difficult to get paid if you forget to submit electronic time sheets every two weeks!

 Please keep track of your allotment. You will not be paid if you submit e-sheets after all your money has been earned.

SCHEDULING: A semi-permanent weekly schedule will be set up at the beginning of the semester. It is expected that you will arrive on time (preferably five minutes early) and not leave until the end of your shift. It is important not to leave the lab unattended for more than a few minutes that it takes to go to the bathroom or run a five minute errand. 

 If you find yourself waiting for your replacement lab assistant (I hope this will never happen!), try to find out where they are; call their phone number. If you cannot locate them call Jonathan Leonard (656-2979, 434-3787), or CDAE secretaries (656-2001) in that order.

 If you know in advance that you will not, or wish not, to work your regular hours, it is your responsibility to arrange a replacement from the other lab assistants. CALL the other lab assistants (do not just leave a note) or send e-mail out on the lab distribution list. If you cannot find anyone, call or e-mail Jonathan.


  1. The responsibilities outlined in this document.
  2. The name, phone number, and e-mail address of all lab personnel .
  3. How to work with Windows98.
  4. How to format and make backups of diskettes.
  5. How to login to zoo and use e-mail.
  6. How to set up a web page.
  7. How to detect and disinfect a computer virus.
  8. How to connect to the library's Voyager system via the Web.
  9. How to upload and download files with FTP.
  10. Location of the CALS 002/85 labook on the web .
If you would like help on how to do any of the above, Jonathan would be happy to show you. Please send any suggestions you have for improving this document to Jonathan.

Lat updated 7 Sept 2010.