Oct 282009
Authors: Glen Pfeiffer, Ryan Gibbons

Most of us pay exorbitant fees to attend this fine institution called Colorado State. Every semester, each student pays $20 toward developing the technology that you see and (hopefully) use all around campus.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking these funds are allocated by some grumpy old men over at the Administration Building. Your student technology fees are actually allocated by fellow students, a group called the University Technology Fee Advisory Board.

We got involved with the board after we started writing this column so we could have our fingers on the pulse of campus technology development, and we’ve learned a lot.

At $20 a semester per student, the UTFAB has an annual budget of about $1.4 million to do with as they please (as long as members are advocating for the academic college and the constituents they represent, of course. Plus that trip to Vegas or two. Ahem.). It’s actually quite a fun process to decide how best to spend this money.

In the four or so months of being involved, we’ve learned enough to be able to tell you that your fee money is in good hands. (Your technology fee money, at least. We can’t speak for the other smoke-and-mirrors boards handling our dough. Or the Associated Students of CSU monkeys. Did you know ASCSU is run by monkeys?)

UTFAB has some pretty sound practices. They make every effort to attempt to spend all of the budget within the school year it was paid because the philosophy is that the students who pay the fees get to see the results, not just the start of some project that won’t be done in 10 years. If you’re interested in joining the UTFAB, send us an e-mail.

And now, we are proud to present: Some of the things that your technology fees are used for. Because you should know.

The UTFAB puts a fair amount of money into upgrading the wireless systems in CSU’s buildings. Yes, some buildings have terrible wireless, but know that the university is upgrading non-stop. They just can’t do every building every year.

Your funds also strongly support those computer terminals you see all over campus — you know, those “cloud computers” without a tower that we love to talk about in this column? Those are the ones. You should definitely take advantage of those if you’re ever walking to class and suddenly realize you forgot to harvest some of your carrots on FarmVille.

With registration arriving with a flurry of advising appointments, many are counting the hours until they can hop on RAMweb and grab one of those few remaining spots in Psychology of Human Sexuality, only to discover that all the spots have been filled. Well, worry no more. The UTFAB funds the people who bring you RAMweb.

Few students make it through their four years at CSU without feeling the pain of a full class, but that may soon all be changing.

As early as next March, RAMweb will introduce a waitlisting functionality to class registration. OMG YAY right? While the waitlist won’t solve all your registration problems, it will put you one step closer to scoring the perfect schedule.

As it stands now, each class will have a waitlist with a preset number of spots. When someone drops the class the first person on the waitlist will be notified by e-mail and possibly text message. Then they will have a limited amount of time to change from waitlisted status to enrolled before it e-mails the next person.

Sounds like a good enough system us. Check out our video for more on upcoming RAMweb features.

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer recommend the 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry video for Starstruckk. Time for a cold shower. Send feedback to verve@collegian.com.

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