Senate quickly approves renovation

Funding approved for upgrades to computer labs in Old Library, plus org travel

Story by Glen Olson, Staff Writer

Student Senate voted unanimously Monday to approve $86,000 for the renovation of the 24-hour lab in the Old Library.

Student Body President Bryan Larson said the improvements are part of continually working to attract students to the campus and improving existing services.

“I think that when they’re bringing tours through here, and they’re like, ‘this is our lab for students’ there is something to be said for that to be outfitted with the most up-to-date technology,” Larson said.

Senate introduced and approved the bill in a single meeting, which is unusual.

Information Technology Commission Director Christian Paese introduced the motion for the suspension of the rules for the vote.

“It’s about the timing, and getting everything ordered,” Paese said. “We want to make sure that the lab is not closed for students.”

They plan to have the renovation completed over the summer.

Paese said the costs were not necessarily going to be the same as the $86,000 set aside, but could be that high. He said they submitted a higher number to account for price changes as they solidify the plans.

The lab was chosen based off student responses to ITC surveys, where they answered questions about labs and what they need for improvement.

Paese said this can also improve other areas of campus, because they will take the equipment from the 24-hour lab and use it to replace even older equipment elsewhere in places they chose not to redo.

Paese also introduced a bill to be voted on next week, to allocate $27,495 to buy a site license for Visix, a software which would regulate and manage the digital signs on campus.

He said this fits with the campus’ overall Master Plan by increasing the amount of digital signs and allowing for directions or “way-point finding.”

Originally $39,000, Paese said they were able to talk the price down through the negotiations.

If this is passed, the funding would come from the Information Technology Commissions carryover budget, which is around $170,000.

Larson said these improvements seem to fit well with recent developments.

He credits ITC for coming up with realistic ideas based on data, not talking about things hypothetically.

“Which probably doesn’t sound all that revolutionary,” Larson said. “But at a university sometimes it is.”

Org funding

Senate also approved the special allocation for travel funding for two organizations and approved two other group’s constitutions.

The only vote of the meeting that wasn’t unanimous was travel funding for Eau Claire DECA.

The vote was originally on approving $1,600 for the group’s travel, which was approved in a 7-2-3 vote by the Finance Commission.

In the meeting, however, an amendment was introduced to change the amount to $1,375, which would cover only the registration fees.

The opposed Senators said this was more fair, because they’ve done that for other groups receiving allocations.

Aaron Polzin, DECA president, said they work on finding a lot of different funding to help cover the nearly $8,200 needed to transport and lodge the 11 students going to Washington, D.C.

“It’s still good,” Polzin said, “because the other funding is out-of-pocket, or through dues and fundraisers.”

After the changes, which passed with a 10-12 vote, Senate approved the allocation unanimously.