Residence life strives for more comfortable dorm living spaces

Published by adviser, Author: Kevin Squires - Assistant News Editor, Date: August 29, 2013
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Students living on campus were welcomed back with more than just the Weekend of Welcome team. Residence Life has introduced a new wireless internet system, digital cable, digital energy displays, and new laundry systems.

Kevin Currie, Director Residence Life, described the many new features added into the on campus living, emphasizing just how important the new wireless internet is to students.

“Anyone who’s lived in the residence halls prior to this year knows that bandwidth was an issue, especially at night,” Currie stated about the new wireless system, MyResNet.

MyResNet allows students to connect up to five separate devices (computer, laptop, cell phone, tablet, gaming station, etc.) with 10 mb/s of bandwidth for each device at no additional out of pocket cost.

Apogee, the company that runs MyResNet, is also responsible for bringing digital cable services to the University. “It was not until literally the week before classes started that we found out it was a true digital signal and that you needed to have one of these newer TVs, 2007 or newer, to receive that digital signal.” Currie explained.

One convenience with the new provider is the support service. Currie explained, “It [support] is twenty-four-seven, 365 and a live person in the United States. You’re actually talking to someone in Austin, Texas that will talk you through the whole thing…you can call them anytime, any day.”

Additionally, the bandwidth associated with a student’s account will follow them across campus. “If you’re on campus and you’re on your phone and you have the option to connect to ResNet, you should do it because you’re going to have better, faster service.” Currie said.

Only residence hall students and those living in the R.O.C.K. Apartments can access MyResNet.

Another addition to the residence halls this summer were digital dashboard displays. The energy efficient displays show energy, water, and gas usage among a variety of other data and information such as the weather. The project has been in the works for two to three years and has been an effort of Scott Albert, director of facilities, and Residence Life.

“We can see how much energy we’re using right at this moment compared to other buildings. How much we used this week, this month, this year, this week compared to that week last year.” Currie explained, adding “You have live, instant information. You can know right that minute.”

He noticed that Watson Hall was much higher for energy usage which residence life plans to examine more closely. However, the aim is for students to understand the impact their actions have.

Residence Life plans to host friendly competition between buildings such as which building can decrease their energy usage the most over one week in an effort “have some fun with it and raise awareness about energy usage.” Currie said.

Caldwell & Gregory Commerical Laundry Professionals is the new laundry service provider for the University. The new washing and drying units accept coins as well as credit and debit cards. The laundry facilities at Slippery Rock University previously accepted Rock Dollars before discontinuing the service three years ago.

“The cost to keep that program going was more than what was being used,” Currie explained, elaborating that “after talking with students the big thing that they wanted was to use coin and any credit or debit card with the machines.”

Within a month, QR codes will allow students to report laundry issues right from their phones.

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