Tech fee approved for next year

Adjusted for loss of tuition


Story by Glen Olson, Staff Writer

Student Senate was introduced to the technology fee budget ranges, which will be in effect next year, with changes in the handling of D2L and other software monies.

Senate will vote on the budget at Monday night’s meeting.

The changes would shift D2L funding from being almost completely out of the students’ technology fees, to be payed for both by Learning and Technology Services budget and partially by students.

Christian Paese, information technology commission director, said because D2L has mostly academic uses, Senate thought it was more appropriate for the university to pay more of the costs.

Paese said the money saved was allocated to the costs of the free software, like Microsoft Word, which students can get for free. Money was also put into the innovative programs part of the tech budget to pay for unexpected costs or new purchases.

“Because of the nature of technology, that things change so often, all of a sudden next year we could find out that students want X,” Paese said. “That kind of gives us the flexibility to do that.”

Paese said senators are also responding to the surveys by the information technology commission.

He said a major concern for students was Wi-Fi dropping while at school.

Paese said the concerns may be arising from students not knowing they are connected to the UWECguest instead of the normal Wi-Fi.

He said the guest Wi-Fi is obviously for guests, so it drops users purposefully after an amount of time to make it inconvenient for people using it who aren’t at the university.

Paese said some feedback about the Wi-Fi was more helpful than others, though.

“Unfortunately it’s very difficult when on the survey when we ask for feedback regarding wireless and they just say ‘it sucks,’” Paese said. “It would be much more helpful to know where it sucks.”

Paese said Learning Technology Services is working to find out where there are problems and address those.

Biking Infrastructure

The Senate heard a change to an allocation of money from the Student Office of Sustainability to add more covered bike parking and bike lockers on campus, which would be under the library and near the nursing building.

The money was originally $94,525.25, and it was reduced to $74,525.25. The changed plans drop the proposed bike parking near the nursing building due to changes in construction schedules.

Student Senate approved the original allocation on May 5, which was part of the SOS’s continued drive to make the campus more bike-oriented.

Christina Hupy, sustainability fellow and chair of the comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian planning sub-committee, said the goals are part of a larger plan they have developed with hopes of having it included in the campus’ master plan.

Hupy said the bike parking under the library would be better planned and more efficient than it is now. The bike lockers would provide a rental opportunity for faculty and students who bike farther and need a place to store gear, especially in the winter.

She said all of these are “encouraging mechanisms.”

“The whole idea is to get people to bike to campus for a whole bunch of different reasons,” Hupy said. “Not just because (car) parking is limited, but it’s a healthy thing to do; it’s an enjoyable thing to do.”