Today: Jun 17, 2024

SCSU goes digital: a step toward the future

Adrienne Jeanette GurgeSpecial to The Southern News

Southern Connecticut State University has installed digital signs in the Student Center and residence halls to keep students aware of campus events.

Thomas Dorr, assistant director of the Student Center, decided in fall 2011 to replace the poster board in the front lobby of the student center.

“It was a nightmare to manage.  They fell over every time someone opened the door and it was windy. People would post over other people’s flyers and it was a free-for-all,” Dorr said.

There are a total of eight digital signs in the student center with most right near the food court.  They are also in most of the residence halls: North Campus, Brownell, Neff, West Campus, Hickerson, Wilkinson, Farnham, and Chase Hall. Schwartz Hall is in the process of having one installed.

The signs give information out to students, staff and faculty about events, clubs, programs, sports, intramurals and services available at SCSU.

“I find them helpful,” said Merril Jones, sophomore. “Last semester it helped me know what events were going on during Homecoming.”

Marvin Wilson, associate director of Residence Life, made the decision to place the new digital signs in the residence halls.

“It looks great,” said Wilson.  “It helps to declutter papers and posters.”

Southern is constantly looking to head in a more sustainable direction, said Meg Hoffecker, interim director of Hickerson Hall.

“We are going in a more environmentally friendly direction,” said Hoffecker.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the change.

Freshman Abbie Shimer said, “on occasion I look at them, not too much.  I have more of a tendency to look at posters instead of T.V. screens.”

In addition to students receiving emails for the school events on a regular basis, now they have other means to keep them up-to-date.

“My impression is that people delete the broadcast emails by the school.  I think it [the digital signs] is perceived as a positive change. Think, you will see more of the signs on campus because they might do a better job of getting information out,” Dorr said.

Campus clubs and organizations can submit flyers through a website to announce activities. The posters usually run for about two weeks; the signs are scheduled to show them each for 15 seconds.

“One of my favorites was a Folio submission flyer, one word, ‘Submit,’” Dorr said.

The signs in the student center were provided to the university by Reach Sports Group.  According to Reach’s website, they are a “media company that owns and operates the Reach Network–a digital place-based network that is located in over 500 recreation and fitness centers across the U.S. Reach is used to help businesses and brands connect with students via a media platform.”

There is a program that codes the activities of each of the rooms for the Michael J. Adanti Student Center each day.

Freshman Jaime Lichtwald said, “I think they let us know what is going on. I found out about the Newboyz concert through the screens.”

There is another advertising group planning to install a digital sign in a Southern Connecticut State University parking garage.

Dorr said that additionally there are plans on the way to include a newer improved version of wireless networking in the student center.

The student center offers a website called concerto.scsu.southernct.edu, which has a breakdown of all the flyers shown on each screen. A person can click on each individual group and see each event from the Lyman Center to Reslife programs to the student center.

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