SCENE@CCSU: CCSU IT implementing greener, cost-saving plans
Sunday, May 24, 2009 9:59 PM EDT
By Lisa Ricci Washko
Special to The Herald
As the spring semester comes to a close, the Academic Technology area of the CCSU Information Technology Department is already planning some exciting changes for when students return Aug. 31 for the fall semester.
One of the major areas of change the students will see is the push for double-sided black and white printing in the main computer lab on campus. Single-sided printing will continue to be available but the students will have to choose that option; double-sided will be the default for all documents. This change is being implemented to support sustainability on campus and to save money for the university. Double-sided printing could save an estimated half a million sheets of paper per semester, which is equivalent to 100 boxes or approximately $3,000. This initiative is part of an effort to facilitate a greener campus and foster a more environmentally conscious student body.
Another change that the students will notice is a new title for the main general purpose computer lab on campus. Currently called the Marcus White Computer Lab, the new title will be The Student Technology Center. This Center currently has over 230 computers available for students to do Internet research, work on academically related projects, check e-mail, etc. The center sees an average of 900 students per day during the regular semesters. Along with the title change, all student staff will be required to wear identical shirts that will differentiate them from student users and make for a more professional atmosphere. Plans are also in the works to set up a “Questions Desk” area away from the front entry area in the center. At the present time, all students who need assistance congregate at the front desk in the center. This causes a “traffic jam” for students coming and going. The new area will move the students with questions to a separate area allowing the entry area to be used only for entering and exiting. This will greatly improve the traffic flow in a place where the 900+ students per day are constantly on the move.
There have been some other changes taking place in the center to make the environment a safer and healthier place for students. In mid-March a panic button system was installed in the center. Staff members now have access to individual panic buttons which send an alarm directly to campus police in the case of a major emergency. As an added measure of security, plans are also in place to install security cameras in all areas of the center, including the entrance lobbies. On the health side, hand sanitizers were recently installed around the center. This is part of a campus-wide effort to make students more aware of the need to contain the spread of germs.
Responding to the tough economic times, the Academic Technology area is working on ways to save the university money as well as improve the services offered to CCSU students.
Lisa Ricci Washko is Instructional Technology Manager, Academic Technology at Central Connecticut State University