College installs eight televisions around Paresky

Eight large television monitors have appeared in the Paresky Center since early January, while two additional TVs will likely show up in other campus locations soon. The cost of the new technology – which includes the TVs themselves, the programs they will use and the training required to operate them – will cost the College roughly $90,000, according to Michael Briggs, senior project manager for Paresky. The monitors were part of the original plans for Paresky, but extra time was needed as Campus Life, Dining Services and the Office for Information Technology worked together in choosing the equipment and software.

Like information kiosks at a mall, the monitors by the staircases, the Luetkemeyer Lounge and the Student Organization Suite will be used for electronic event postings, daily announcements and a calendar of campus events. Doug Schiazza, director of Campus Life, made it clear that these are only a few of the ways in which the TVs can be used. “They have the capability of a lot more once we get used to using the system,” he said.

The infrastructure for the TVs was built into the Center in anticipation of posting information. Although not meant to be used for cable television, there is a feed to allow for the showing of “pertinent offerings” such as the news or the weather.

While not initially intended to take the place of posters, the monitors may in fact cut down on the waste of paper at the College, Schiazza said. Dining Services plans to use the monitors at snack bar and Whitmans’ as menu boards, replacing the paper descriptions set on the counters. According to Michael Cutler, Paresky Center manager, they will feature images of the food as well as information on ingredients, the source of the produce, preparation and pricing.

Both Cutler and Carol Luscier, snack bar manager, believe that the menu boards will help students make their choices and perhaps aid those with food restrictions and allergies.

Although the monitors are almost all installed, they will not be put to use until staff from OIT, Campus Life and Dining Services have been trained to use the program, according to Briggs. “The monitors should be activated by the end of the month,” he said.