Possible Microsoft student option supported by MSA

Option would allow students to pay a one-time $100 fee and get Microsoft software updates during their time at MU.
Director of Desktop Technologies Kevin Bailey spoke Wednesday night before MSA Senate explaining a new Microsoft software program purposed for MU students. MSA passed a resolution in support of the program, which updates student software during the student's time at MU.

The Missouri Students Association Senate voted in support at its meeting Wednesday for a deal with Microsoft that would allow students to pay a one-time $100 fee and receive software updates throughout their time at MU.

“Microsoft came and talked about the possibility of making Microsoft products more available to students as they’re released,” Director of Desktop Technologies Kevin Bailey said.

The deal would give students access to the latest versions of Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office or new Microsoft operating systems, which range in price from $75 to more than $100.

“It’s pretty visible the amount of money students will save with this,” MSA Senate Speaker Jacob Sloan said.

MSA’s support for this program was the first step to making it happen at MU.

“(The Division of Information Technology) said they weren’t willing to go ahead unless MSA said they were able to support it as well,” Sloan said.

Bailey said the program would also allow for Microsoft software to be downloaded directly.

“This way you would pay $100 and get all of that stuff downloaded to your laptop,” he said.

When the program begins, incoming freshmen would be the only students who will pay the $100 fee. As part of the phasing-in process, seniors would pay $25, juniors would pay $50 and sophomores would pay $75.

Sloan said he was not concerned that MU’s Apple-loyal student body would affect the productiveness of the program.

“The Apple-heavy side of Missouri might be a valid point,” he said. “But I know that Microsoft Office is still very expensive.”

In order for the program to be self-funded, 4,159 students would need to sign up each year, according to the proposal sent by the DoIT.

“I could see where the Apple students wouldn’t be as interested in pursuing this but I’m sure there are more than 4,000 students who come to this campus with a PC,” he said. “I think that number would be easy to reach and there would be some overlap for Mac students as well.”

If DoIT fails to reach its target number, it would request funds to make up the difference, Bailey said.

The proposal for MU is unique in that students have the option to participate.

“Other universities have bumped up student fees to do this deal,” Sloan said.

He said according to DoIT, a fee increase would not be ideal for MU.

The DoIT proposal cited other schools participating in the student option, including Duke University, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt and the University of Indiana. The Missouri University of Science and Technology is also exploring the proposal.

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