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Technology fees to stay the same

The Student Technology fee is not likely to increase next year, according to a decision reached during the annual meeting of the Student Technology Fee Committee Tuesday evening in the Student Union.

The Student Technology Fee Committee, which meets to enhance funding for support of technology, also advances teaching and learning, as well as advises on planning and budget allocations.

University Librarian Alan Bernstein believes the committee is dedicated to assessing issues concerning students as accurately as possible.

“The Student Tech Fee Committee remains committed to fairly, sensibly, and proactively using student tech fee monies for the betterment of the student population at VSU,” Bernstein said.

During the meeting, there was a re-evaluation of the current printing solution provider.

“A problem has been found since the current Ricoh PCV system does not support Windows 7,” Joe Newton, director of Information Technology and Committee Chair said. “There has been an attempt to migrate to this program in some computer labs and will continue into the fall semester, including locations in the Odum Library.”

The committee seeks strategic direction for the following two printing solutions: WEPA, a third party that uses touch screen kiosks to provide wireless and color printing as well as follow-me printing, which allows the user to print a job anywhere on campus, and Equitrac, a software and hardware that also offers follow-me printing from a computer lab or laptop at current rates.

With WEPA, a student would be required to slide a one card or credit card to pay for their print.

“It would give students more printing capabilities and options,” Russell Mast, vice president of Student Affairs said.

The committee was concerned with the affect on students if WEPA was installed around campus.

“Printing costs would be fully shouldered by the students with no print allocation each semester and those costs would double,” Newton said.

Several committee members disagreed with this solution. The campus printing issues relative to cost for students was one issue in particular.

“With the tuition increase and the changes to HOPE, it is important that we look at ways to make sure we can keep expenses down and not increase the costs of printing for our students,” Mast said.

After a mutual agreement, a motion was passed to invest in Equitrac to reduce student costs.

The committee also discussed the need to create a more comprehensive campus-wide plan for the Hall Net wireless network.

“The wireless environment is important to VSU as a growing university and highly used by our students,” Mast said. “I am happy that Information Technology will be looking at ways to improve that environment for the entire campus.”

Newton feels that the attempts have been successful in expanding wireless in academic areas and offices.

“Wireless has greatly improved this year with the segmenting of the network and dedicated 100mbps Internet connection for Hallnet, introduction of new technology in Langdale and Converse, and some adjustments,” Newton said.

He said the committee plans to more accurately address wireless issues across campus as well as new resources to help manage signal for the next semester.

The committee briefly discussed the need to supply smart classroom and computer lab equipment for the new Psychology building replacing Converse.

Newton believes there has been productive planning for the new Psychology building.

“Student Tech Fee will pay for seven new smart classrooms and a large computer lab in the new Psychology building,” Newton said.

The committee also hopes to work with deans and department heads in the future to determine priorities for new hardware and software for upgraded computer labs.

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