Virtual labs to be expanded
The Student Senate voted on two Information Technologies Commission proposals at its Monday meeting, denying one and approving the other.
A bill for a nearly $20,000 student technology fee allocation to expand the virtual lab license bundle was passed with a voice vote.
The virtual labs allow students to log in from any computer and be able to use campus licensed software. This includes software such as SPSS and the Microsoft Office suite. It does not include Adobe software.
The university currently has 100 licenses for the software and can serve 100 students at a time. The ITC will purchase an additional 100 with the requested allocation, ITC Director Ben Krall said.
Krall said the virtual lab program is especially beneficial for students who commute to Eau Claire for school.As well as non-traditional students with children. This is because it can be difficult for them to get to campus to work on projects.
Senator April Ross said she supported the allocation because she knows from personal experience that virtual labs benefit students.
“When your homework assignments force you to use different programs, and you travel a lot like I do, it’s impossible to get your homework done without an option like this,” she said.
Senator Tyrel Zich made a similar point of Ross. Zich said he had purchased SPSS software to put on his personal computer because he had been one of the students who was unaware of the virtual labs.
Senator Melissa Opitz said because it hasn’t been used at full capacity of student usage, it concerned her to use student fees for more licenses.
Senator Jacob Fishbeck said that didn’t concern him.
“Many students haven’t even heard about it, but I don’t see that as a problem,” Fishbeck said, “I see that as a challenge.
Replacement of microform reader denied
A bill to fund a new microform reader and scanner system for the Special Collections and Archives section of the McIntyre Library for the cost of $11,511 was denied after a placard vote of 3-22.
The current microform reader and scanner in the Special Collections and archive section of McIntyre would need to be replaced by the end of December, Krall said.
As of now, there are a total of four microform readers in McIntyre, and without replacing the one in question, there will be three left, Krall said.
Krall said he had reservations about allocating money to this project because the Special Collections and Archives section of the library isn’t open as late as the rest of the building. Students don’t get the chance to use the current one there at hours that are convenient to them.
“I’m worried that this is not going to be worth our money and it’s going to end up subsidizing usage for the archives department,” he said. “While it is open for everyone, it’s not exactly convenient for everyone.”
Student Body President Phil Rynish said the idea of allocating money to a new microform reader bothered him.
“The microform reader isn’t exactly innovative or anything like that, and … the tech fee is supposed to be for somewhat innovative practices,” Rynish said.