Giving students an option more affordable than the i-clicker

Student Senate supports a resolution that could offer the choice of purchasing polling software on their devices


Photo by Kendall Ruchti

Student Senate heard from the co-chairs of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Implementation Team about the current state of the plan.

UW-Eau Claire students wouldn’t have to purchase i-clickers for in-class polling and quizzes if allowed to use a polling program on devices they bring to class, Information Technology Commission Director Jarrett Yuknis said.

Yuknis introduced a resolution at Monday’s Student Senate meeting looking for Senate’s support in the idea.

The current cost of an i-clicker is $55, while the cost of REEF software would be $7.50 a year for students, Yuknis said. If students buy the software for four years, that $30 is still less than the cost of the physical device, he said.

There’s a possibility the ITC could cover the costs students pay to purchase the license, Yuknis said.

“That kind of falls within our budget, but that will come later,” Yuknis said.

Although Senate voted to support the resolution, professors don’t have to allow students the use of the REEF software unless the Academic Policy Committee and University Senate approves the legislation to be implemented in the handbook, Yuknis said.

Implementation wouldn’t eliminate the choice of an i-clicker, but provide a second option since 96 percent of students who responded to an ITC survey last semester said they owned a smartphone or mobile computing device, Yuknis said.

Senator Conner Walburn said he supports the resolution as someone who has used the REEF software.

“It’s a lot easier than bringing a clicker, since everybody always has their phone on them,” Walburn said.

Senator Scott Small said he supports the resolution because he never needed to buy an i-clicker in class until this semester.

“It really does benefit students who don’t need the full i-clicker,” Small said.

Senate passed the resolution with a vote of 6-0-1.

In other Senate news
As part of Suicide Prevention and Research Collaborative on campus, Senator Kristina Haideman introduced a resolution Senate passed in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

“It has really enlightened me to the things that take place around campus and I think it’s really important to acknowledge that mental health is facing a lot of students today,” Haideman said.

Mental Health Awareness Week will take place March 8-10 and hold workshops for students to participate in as a way to publicize the stigmatized topic of mental illness, according to the resolution document.

Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Katy McGarry said she encourages Senators to express their support for the resolution beyond just the meeting room and actively promote the event.

“I would say that since we’re putting this out there in resolution I would really like to see that a lot of senators are involved in going to the workshop events,” McGarry said.

Director of Academic Affairs Mathew Riedel said he speculates there might be a number of students suffering from mental health, but not utilizing Counseling Services. Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to engage students in those options and services on campus, Riedel said.

“[These are] different ways that we can promote and engage on our campus a discussion, dialogue and just better knowledge around this topic,” Riedel said.

Senate also passed the constitution for the student organization Curling Club.