In an attempt to provide better technology for student use, Residential Computing and the ASSU have installed new projector screens in some Old Union rooms — and spokespeople said they may do more in the near future.
“We definitely want to get more technology in Old Union,” said ASSU President David Gobaud, a coterminal student in computer science. “We’ve made a lot of progress.”
The ASSU executive technology team in January launched a student survey on technology needs in Old Union. Spread by e-mail and taken by 157 students, the survey helped clarify demand for specific equipment additions.
Recent additions include a pair of large projection screens for student use, connected to via laptop, that have been added to study rooms 121 and 122 on the first floor of the union. Both of these screens, provided by Residential Computing and initially purchased for residences, have seen use over the previous week, allowing groups to broadcast images off laptop screens.
“[We were] looking for places to put them where they would get the best use,” said Beth McCullough, a learning spaces manager for Residential Computing. “Old Union has some really great study rooms that are reservable…so we thought it would be a good fit.”
Motion sensor lights were also installed in several rooms in Old Union, in line with the ASSU’s emphasis on sustainability. Gobaud also showed interest in placing projectors in some study rooms. These would possibly be similar to those used in classrooms, with smart panels.
Following the survey, Residential Computing has also discussed providing printers, an idea to which about 75 percent of respondents expressed interest. Residential Computing does not usually serve Old Union, focusing instead on libraries, residences and Tresidder Memorial Union. However, they can provide some services upon request.
“Our printing service is used by some other departments in spaces we don’t manage,” said Rich Holeton, director of academic computing services for Residential Computing.
Another interest expressed by student responders was for a computer cluster. The addition of a cluster would be the responsibility of an Old Union Advisory Board, not the ASSU or Residential Computing.
Some survey respondents also hoped to have digital cameras and video cameras available for rent, according to Gobaud.
The discussion about adding technology began when Old Union was remodeled and reopened in 2007. However, the University did not install any projectors at the time.
“When they redid Old Union, they didn’t initially have [the] budget for technology, so we started talking about a possible partnership,” Holeton said. “It took until now to bring it to fruition.”