Today: Apr 12, 2024

IT Department redesign Engleman B121

Jacob Waring – News Editor

The Information Technology Department had recently completed its renovation of Engleman B121 which occurred in December, a room that frequently sees utilization by the campus community for many meetings and events.

Trever Brolliar, Director for academic technology who was part of the team that oversaw the renovation of EN B121 said that the space needed remodelling.

“It gets a lot of traffic and the equipment was aging and there was an evident need for the space to be renovated and improved for future use,” he said.

Executive Vice President of Student Government Association, Brooke Mercaldi, a senior said that the room is utilized often by the Southern community.

“A lot of really important meetings happened in that room, not just for student government,” she said, “but all across campus, different clubs and organizations and a lot of faculty presentations happened in that room.”

Mercaldi said one of the challenges in having meetings in the room was a pillar that was obstructing the view of the meeting.

“[The pillar] makes it hard for people sitting in the back of the room to see what’s going on and be involved. There are also a lot of tables that are behind that pillar,” said Mercaldi.

The renovations incorporating additional screens will help students be able to participate more or encourage more involvement according to Mercaldi.

The IT. department, according to Brolliar, said they tried to use equipment that Southern had already owned when possible. They estimated the back half of the room was equipment that was repurposed from other rooms. He also said the only pieces of equipment that they had to invest in the podium, the computer, and the monitor projectors which are staples in classrooms across campus.

Phillip Bryant, coordinator of AV/TV Multi-Media said he oversaw the installation of the room working with the outside vendors and to make sure everything got accomplished.

According to Bryant, the IT Department can remotely monitor the room from their office to ensure control, security and operational function. There is a failsafe where the room gets shut down after two hours of inactivity which Brolliar said just, “made sense.”

“If there’s no one in here for two hours, everything gets powered down,” said Brolliar “It saves equipment. It saves like electricity. [It] saves money.”

According to Bryant, the I.T. Department is committed to ensuring every piece of equipment function at a certain quality, not just that it works. They said that machine powering the equipment is housed in a closet in the back of the room, enabling the podium to be moved freely. Bryant also said that all the equipment is the same as is housed in classrooms.

“The average faculty or student who has used a smart room before could manage their way because it’s so similar” said Brolliar, “There’s just a couple extra features.”

One of those features is wireless compatibility which can be used anywhere in the room. “We have a wireless touch panel where you can walk around at any corner of this room and run the room as if the podium was sitting up there,” said Bryant.

Brolliar said due to the size of the room, it might be hard to hear people speaking, so the room has to ability to have different microphone setups.

“We do have the ability for lapel mikes and microphones and multi microphones for panels” he said.

Microphone stands, according to Brolliar can be set up on tables when it is a meeting as large as student government meeting. He said that “they do a great job without the microphone” but the ability to use microphones is always there if needed.

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