Technology advances make campus life better

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Ryan Dangerfield | Assistant Features Editor | @ryandanger23


Major advances in technology adaptation have been made at the university in the past decade. In the past year, the Center for Student Computing has added new software to help students succeed in school, introduced wireless printing, and is now in the process of updating the wooden computer kiosks found across campus.

The wooden computer kiosks found across campus have been provided for student use since 1999. However, they are not the most user-friendly. Luckily, Student Computing is currently planning on releasing a new prototype kiosk in the spring of 2015 that will be much more user friendly.

The first new prototype kiosk will be located in front of One Stop. If the kiosks prove to be more efficient, more will be added over time.

Chief Information Officer Ray Walker said the number of computers available on campus to the number of students is proportionate given the student fees that are available. Currently, the student fees at UVU are one of the lowest in the state of Utah.

Another recent improvement to the technology infrastructure at UVU is the ability to wirelessly print from any computer students may bring from home.

“Recently, the information technology department has seen a move towards students bringing their own computers to campus,” said Walker. “As a result IT spends a lot of time trying to make the wireless internet, and printing user-friendly and accessible.”

At the beginning of each semester, all students are given ten dollars in print credit. Students are able to use their print credit on most printers throughout campus, simply by swiping their student ID.

“To implement wireless printing it took many hours of research, planning, and testing to determine what software would suit the needs of our campus best,” said Darel Hawkins, Director of Student Computing. “Coming spring 2015 students will be able to even print from ipads and iphones.”

Printing costs have risen significantly at most universities across the country. However, printing costs at UVU have remained the same for the last five years at five cents per page for black and white prints and twenty cents for color prints.

Another major project the IT department is currently working on is rebuilding the student portal and shifting student email to Google for students. This will possibly allow students to create an email address that would be more name specific for school purposes.

The two computer software programs recently added to computers across campus are Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Suite.

“Microsoft Office 365 gives students free access to office software on up to 5 computers, which includes mobile devices,” Walker said. “It was about a six to nine month process to make Microsoft 365 available to students.”

If a student wants to get their copy of Microsoft Office 365, login to UVLink, then click on the help tab, and at the bottom you’ll see “software” where you will be able to activate Office 365 by going through a short five-minute process.

The Adobe Creative Suite costs the school about $150,000 annually. However, it is now offered on over 6000 computers currently on campus. This software is the most popular program for graphics, web, and video on the market.

“Our goal at student computing is to always put the students first,” Hawkins said. “The students are our customers and we do everything based upon that goal.”