On Feb. 23 the Information Technology Committee (ITC), chaired by Syed Ali ’13, selected its newest members. The refreshed committee plans to discuss and improve aspects of campus technology, from public computers to Wesleyan Mobile apps to laundry.
The ITC serves as part of the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) and works with Information Technology Services (ITS) to oversee a broad range of technology around the University campus.
“The ITS is in charge of technology and we’re the student voice that talks to ITS on [students’] behalf,” Ali said. “If students have any concerns, they can come to our regularly scheduled meetings or email me.”
The committee usually communicates with the directors of ITS, including Director of Academic Computing and Digital Library Projects Jolee West, Director of User and Technical Services ITS Karen Warren, and World Wide Web Administrator Patricia Leone.
“The ITS crew itself hasn’t worked one-on-one with the committee yet but I know the directors [of ITS] have been meeting with them.” said Guy Geyer ’13, who works for the ITS HelpDesk. “I know that Syed is really trying to keep up-to-date with what’s going on, and I think it’s been great.”
In the past, ITC has been successful in making the campus Internet faster by adding more routers and access points.
“Right now we’ve been working to change e-portfolio,” Ali said. “It’s already been reorganized but we’re trying to make that even more streamlined and make using it not as cluttered and overwhelming. We also want labs to be better, [because] labs can serve as a good 24-hour workspace for people even when the libraries are closed.”
Ali also added that the ITC works to make students more aware of the services that ITS provides.
“A lot of it is outreach in some ways,” Ali said. “For example, a lot of students buy Microsoft [Office] for $150 and don’t know that they can just download it from the school for free. Also, student groups can get student group websites and email addresses, and a lot of student groups don’t know that, so we’re trying to publicize things like that.”
The ITC also plans to work with students in developing computer skills.
“We’ve been working on this media literacy workshop, sort of like a writing workshop that deals with technological skills and new media skills,” Ali said. “We’re trying to encourage students to get involved, and one of the ideas we’re considering is having a programming contest.”
While the ITC has made progress with its projects, they have also faced difficulties.
“Some ideas require money, and it’s not always easy to convince the University to spend money,” Ali said. “There are priorities, and ITS has a lot to work on. Fundamentally, though, ITS is a good department to work with and the directors [of ITS] are receptive to change and making students’ lives easier.”
Ali encouraged students to voice their suggestions to the ITC, and he hopes that more students will continue to participate—whether on paper, online, or in person—in facilitating the use of technology around the University.
“There’s a WSA suggestions box [at Usdan],” Ali said. “You can also [go to] our committee’s website and there’s a form on there students can use to contact us. We’re also going to be meeting Fridays at 2:30 p.m. in the WSA office this semester, and anyone is welcome to come and express concerns.”