Not Keeping Account Of Their Account

, , , , | Learning | March 25, 2018

(As an undergrad, I work for my university’s IT department as a lab tech. Each student at this university is given a unique account to log in to lab computers with. One of the computer labs I am monitoring has a beginner’s programming class in it, and the professor summons me to help a student who cannot access a necessary file.)

Professor: “I set up the drive through the network. Each student enrolled in the class should be able to access it. Everyone else can; I’m not sure why [Student] can’t.”

Me: “Can you walk me through how it is supposed to be accessed?”

([Professor] demonstrates on another student’s working account. I attempt the same steps on [Student]’s computer and find no file, nor even access to the drive. I go through multiple troubleshooting steps until finally…)

Me: *speaking quietly* “Hmm. There are some files here from [Different Professor], so I’m not sure why [Professor]’s files aren’t showing up. [Student], what class are you taking with [different Professor]?”

Student: “Oh, I’m not. But I think my roommate is. I don’t know which class, though.”

Me: “Why would your roommate’s class files be on your account?”

Student: “Oh, it isn’t mine. This is my roommate’s account.”

Me: *spotting the problem* “Ah. You have to use your own account to access files that have been granted to you through the network. Your roommate isn’t in this class, and so can’t be granted access to these files. You will need to log in to your account. And just as a warning, you really shouldn’t be using anyone’s account but your own.”

Student: “I can’t.”

Me: *thinking this is a “forgotten password” case* “Why can’t you log in? I can probably help.”

Student: “Uh, well… Mine got taken away.”

Me: “I see. How long ago?”

Student: “Well, it was in my first month of freshman year, so about two and a half years ago.” *looking guilty* “I was just downloading music, I swear!”

Me: *stunned* “You… you know you can get your account reactivated after 30 days, right?”

Student: “Oh, I know. I just didn’t think I needed to, since my roommate lets me use this one.”

Me: “For two and a half years? You know your roommate’s account can be taken away for this, right?”

Student: *eyes going wide* “No.”

Me: “Right. Okay. So, to get your account back, you’ll need to go to the IT Department in [Building] and ask for [Student Accounts Director].”

Student: “Okay. I’ll go just as soon as class is over.”

Professor: “No, you will go now. You cannot participate in class if you cannot access these files.”

Student: *leaves in a hurry*

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