The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

Tech committee approves proposal to improve campus Wi-Fi

December 6, 2017

Nicholls’ technology fee committee approved a proposal on Nov. 28 to purchase new Wi-Fi access points
for the Ellender Library, Peltier Hall and Polk Hall in order to improve Wi-Fi access.

Peyton Chiasson, chair of the technology fee committee’s student sub-committee, said that Wi-Fi
improvements were the committee’s top priority.

“Obviously we hear a lot of complaints about Wi-Fi,” said Chiasson. “Wi-Fi was really our number one
priority, and this is the easiest way and the best way actually to get money to spend on those type of
projects.”

Chiasson said that this proposal affects a great deal of students and their academic success.

“Peltier Hall touches so many students and so many people coming into the university, and the library
[does] as well,” said Chiasson. “I definitely think this will be a huge improvement for students and
academic success…you can’t let technology slack, especially in today’s world.”

The approximate 60 new access points will lead to a ratio of nearly one per classroom, Chiasson said.
The total project will cost $90,722 for the purchasing of more access points and the necessary cabling.

Students can expect to see improvements either next semester or next fall.

Chiasson said that this project began two years ago with the purchasing of a firewall.

“It all started two years ago with the firewall…that proposal was funded by SGA and housing, so that
was the first step, and now it comes to access points,” said Chiasson.

At the end of each fall semester, the student sub-committee meets to vote on technology-based
proposals submitted by various departments. The sub-committee then makes its recommendations to
the full committee, whose voting membership is comprised of eight students and seven faculty
members.

This year, the committee received 21 proposals worth a total of approximately $500,000. Of the 11
proposals that the committee chose to fully or partially fund, three were related to Wi-Fi improvements.

The committee had a total of $330,000 to spend on proposals, said Chiasson.

“The $330,000 was actually the most that we’ve ever had to spend thus far, so we were able to make
kind of a bigger impact,” said Chiasson. “We would typically spend around $250,000, and then every
year we’ve had a surplus…and we wanted to make some big changes to Wi-Fi, so IT decided to put a
little more in the budget to allow us to fund some of these Wi-Fi proposals.”

Looking forward, Chiasson said that the plan is to improve Wi-Fi access in an academic building each
year. Ayo Hall, the student union and the cafeteria have each already received updates.

“The game plan now is…[to] knock out a different academic building every year because we did the
firewall, and that was the first step, so now we’re going to try to knock out all the academic buildings
through the tech fee committee,” said Chiasson.

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