Computer Store in MSC closes, brings changes to still-existing Service Center

Although the physical location of the Computer Store has closed, the online location will remain available for students to use. ORACLE PHOTO/CHAVELI GUZMAN

Changes seem to be a defining feature of this fall semester. With additions of new food options and residence halls, however, comes a loss — The USF Computer Store closed last Friday.

The closing of the once Marshall Student Center mainstay occured due to a lack of visits and purchases of available products, according to Assistant Director of Vendor Relations Carl Smith.

“There’s been a lot of changes in the industry and the buying habits of the public,” Smith said. “Retail locations are not as supported as they were … So, it was the best option we had available to us.”

According to Smith, students should not fret about where to get discounted electronics: The departmental website will remain open for business.

Smith said the website doesn't necessarily receive more or less traffic, but is more efficient to operate compared to the retail store.  

“Some people do use it (the website), some people do not,” Smith said. “The biggest difference is it's more cost effective for a vendor to maintain for the student population if they do use it.”

The current vendor that USF utilizes to run the computer services is Connection, a New Hampshire-based company.

The Service Center that is located in the Library was part of the Computer Store services prior to its closing, but it is now under IT.

According to its website, the Service Center offers a variety of services, which includes virus removal, operation systems installations, computer setups, hardware upgrades and software installation. Prices can range from $45 to over $100.

Specifics about what exactly is changing were not given from Eric Pergola, associate director of desktop engineering and operations of IT, by the time of publication.

“There is a new level of service and expectations on how it (Service Center) operates,” Smith said.  

USF will still offer a variety of software free of charge, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud. According to Smith, they are working on adding more titles daily.  

“One of the biggest things that supported the retail store was software sales, and the university has migrated to, and is continuing to develop, an online software portal for students,” Smith said. “So, that part of the business was another dying aspect of the retail store.”