Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:50 pm

Recovered flash drives abundant in Smith, Holland


Whether at the Smith Computer Center or the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons building, there is no shortage of flash drives being left behind.

The flash drive is a part of academic culture. It is used to store documents, assignments and personal data. If you leave one in the Smith Center or the Holland building, then finding it may be easier than you think.

Ryan Henslee, lead information technician in the Holland building, receives about three to four flash drives a day.

“They don’t always get turned in, and they don’t always get picked up,” Henslee said.

Although they are kept in a drawer at the help desk, there is a process for identifying and storing them for students to claim.

In order to identify the proper owner, the attendant searches the drive for the name  of the owner and then the drive is labeled and stored.

If it stays for an extended period of time, then the attendant will message the owner on Facebook.

It sounds simple enough, but the drawer behind the desk at the Holland is home to at least 50 flash drives. Most have names but have not been claimed.

The same is true for the Smith Computer Center: same process, same log, same bag of unclaimed flash drives.

In the computer center, it is more common for a CIS student to leave a flash drive, which means the work stored can easily be used. The risk is high for someone to use this as their own work.

“When I was in my CIS class, I lost my flash drive and had to do the work over again,” Henslee said. 

Mary McFadden, IT front desk administrative assistant at the Smith Computer Center, is always stunned at the amount of flash drives that are left behind.

“If I was a student in the computer class and I couldn’t find my USB, I would go right to the computer center to claim it,” McFadden said.

The staff members at the computer center are diligent in their efforts to identify whose work is on the drive so that it is ready to be claimed as soon as possible.

Though the most popular suggestion for hanging on to your flash drive is putting it on the same ring as your house or car key, giving the drive a name can also be quite effective.

“A flash drive can be renamed,” McFadden said. “This makes it easier for us to ID the student.”

When the semester ends, the flash drives are sent to USB heaven, also known as IT department head Mary Stubbs. If they are not claimed after a year, then they are erased.