CLA adds touch-screen guides to aid students
During the first week of school, members of the department of sociology clad in “Liberal Arts Search and Rescue” T-shirts helped guide lost students in the newly completed Center for Liberal Arts building to classrooms, administrative offices and bathrooms.
Even though the guides are gone, some students still may not know their way around very well. Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Interim Provost Terry Cooney said there are other options for these students.
The University purchased touch screens that will be installed across from elevators and in the two main galleries of the building to direct lost students, faculty and staff. They will be able to virtually navigate through a three-dimensional, color-coded ﬂoorplan at their ﬁngertips.
“If you want to ﬁnd a faculty member, you can push a button and it will give you a list where you can either enter the name if you know it, or if you can’t remember how to spell it, you can push the ﬁrst letter and it will show you all the names that begin with that letter,” Cooney said. “Push ﬁnd, and it will draw on the screen a bright line from where you are to that person’s ofﬁce.”
Director of Information Technology Support Centers Matthew Wynd said the signs should be available in the CLA by the end of September because of the many smaller tasks that go into the signs including data and power socket installation. He said each display cost $6,000.
Freshman Katelyn Frey said screens are helpful when foot traffic is bustling.
“It’s pretty easy [to navigate]. It’s confusing with other people walking around trying to get to their classes,” she said.
Cooney said one day the University hopes to have screens like this in buildings across campus.
“This is kind of a stalking horse in an effort to do this across the campus in the long run,” Cooney said. “Ideally, [there will be] screens where people could ﬁnd their way around campus.”