Campus Technology Gets a Makeover

Kate Koenig, Arts Editor

   Art and communications major Yeung Seo, a junior, was the recipient of a new iPad on Friday, April 6. Her design logo for the a new-and-improved Information Technology Services (ITS) is an important step in the organization movement towards creating an official brand.

   In an effort to keep up with the rapid-pace of emerging technology, SUNY Oneonta’s ITS is going through some changes. Most of the reorganization will go unnoticed by the campus population, but these still waters run deep and the faculty of ITS are looking to revamp their image as well as make their services more efficient. While some changes have already been implemented, ITS has big plans for the future on campus.

   To advertise these plans ITS had a competition within the arts major for a new, recognizable logo that people will start to see around campus a lot more. ITS saw this is a means to engage the students while helping in their careers, “opportunity for computer art people to do something real; they can put that in their portfolios.” This serves as an example of their commitment to student needs and involvement. Yukyee’s clean, efficient design has a concave curve at its center, which she describes as a “smile” and also as a sort of cradling figure, symbolizing ITS’ willingness to support the campus community. The logo is a vehicle for the overall unification of the previously scattered departments of the IT organization.

   Just last semester, ITS was divided into three separate departments: Academic Needs, which encompassed faculty, students, classrooms, the Help Desk and Angel, Administrative Needs, which was responsible for student grades, Registrar, Financial Aid, Human Resources etc., and Networking and Communications, whose broader responsibilities covered a little bit of both, handling internet access, wireless, phone systems and fiber optics among other things. Now, they has done away with these divisions. Phil Bidwell, in charge of research and development, describes the evolution of ITS growth as “historically slow,” saying, “This is the first time that we have taken a real look at all the ITS we provide and looked at better ways [to serve.]” Through consolidation, ITS seeks to achieve greater efficiency and therefore provide better service to the students and administrators of Oneonta.

   One of the first and most significant changes that have been made is the increase in available campus bandwidth. Shortly after returning from the January break, it was observed that outgoing internet traffic was consistently flatlining against the 500MBps limit that ITS previously afforded campus internet users. In response to this sudden change, ITS deliberated and decided to increase the limit by 40 percent to 700MBps, which caused an increase in the monthly internet bill by $1,489 (making the grand total $15,725). Peak usage hours are 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Evening and night usage has been identified almost entirely as video/Netflix traffic. The ITS board plans to periodically reevaluate the bandwidth rates, recognizing that the overwhelming use of smartphones, iPads and other devices are greatly contributing to total internet usage.

   At present, the ITS officials state that there are 34 major projects under way. At the end of this semester, Fitzelle will be closed for construction, and by its completion ITS will have a large office space in the remodeled building. For the long term, they will actively be looking to replace and upgrade equipment on campus over the next 3 – 5 years. As part of this long range plan, they hope to install outdoor WiFi locations, although that particular process will take extensive planning. When asked if the changes will ever be complete, there was a resounding “No.” ITS plans to stay abreast with the every-changing technology.

   ITS is excited to show off its new logo and get more input from students as the services grows and develops alongside students’ needs. “We have a new identity and you’re going to be seen a lot of that around campus,” said Bidwell.

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