Pierce College students pay a tech fee each quarter that provides on-campus printing, access to certain computer programs, and other benefits.
Puyallup’s Student Technology Fee Budget Committee forms each spring to decide how this student money will be spent.
“The tech fee is used for all the departments that have to do with technology that have proposals that will help students,” ASPCP president Ethan Christensen said.
Every year, the ASPCP president appoints three students and one faculty member to the committee, and the Puyallup campus president appoints one faculty member to serve on the committee that evaluates the proposals for tech fee funding.
The committee will evaluate the proposals and vote to approve funding, Christensen said.
Christensen said the committee also creates a contingency fund, which is an amount set each year that covers any unaccounted for or emergency costs. The tech fee committee is only in session for a month or two, so proposals for the contingency fund are approved by the Student Council.
Technically, though, the tech fee committee doesn’t get the final say in the allocations for the proposals.
“We’re really voting to recommend it,” Christensen said, “and it is approved by the Board of Trustees.”
On April 9, the Board of Trustees approved the recommendations made by Puyallup’s Student Technology Fee Budget Committee.
“There are quite a few requests approved this year that students should be excited about,” Christensen said.
Among the approved requests are 16 replacement and 10 additional computers for the library as well as updated computers for the Student Multimedia Center.
More than 33 additional wireless access points will be added to increase wireless access across campus.
“We were told that the amount of access points on the Puyallup campus will now exceed the number on the much larger Fort Steilacoom campus,” Christensen said.
Most of the changes recommended by the tech fee committee won’t occur until July 1, the start of the next fiscal year.
Projects approved by the tech fee committee:
The total estimated budget of next school year’s collected student tech fees was set at $478,165, and the committee was able to allocate more than $400,000 of that money to project requests.
The rest of the money will return to a growing contingency fund balance, which protects the committee from over allocations after of a sudden decrease in enrollment or allow for one-time requests during the 2014-15 school year.
Here are some of the projects approved by the tech fee committee:
- 16 replacement computers and 10 additional computers for the library.
These changes are anticipated to occur as early as August, and the total cost is $30,962. Committee members authorized the purchase of the 10 additional computers out of the current year’s excess contingency fund so that those computers could be purchased and installed as soon as possible.
- All the Dell computers in the Student Multimedia Center will be replaced for the cost of $18,735.
- An upgraded “packet shaper” that will increase the performance of the network through the bandwidth at the Puyallup campus will cost $40,494.41.
- Additional wireless access points to be distributed across the campus.
This brings Pierce College Puyallup’s number of access points to more than Fort Steilacoom’s. The cost of the access points and licensing is $75,000. A wireless access point is a device similar to a router that allows a certain number of devices to connect to it to access the Internet. When students connect to the internet through Pierce’s wifi, their devices link to the closest available access point. If an access point already has the maximum amount of devices linked to it, the device will link to the next closest one, but this creates a delay in the speed in delivering online content.
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