The Information Technology Student Advisory Board (ITSAB) delivered an extremely successful 2016-17, funding over a dozen technology projects to benefit Clemson University students.

“This year’s IT Student Advisory Board was incredibly successful,” said Dory Askins, Chair of this year’s ITSAB. “Comprised of 12 students, freshmen to seniors, Undergraduate Student Government, and other students, the board covered a huge area of campus. ITSAB can touch every area of campus and I think we did an incredible job this year funding projects that cover very different areas of student life.”

Every fall, ITSAB solicits applications from students who have an idea for a technology project that improves student life at Clemson. In the spring, applicants present their proposals for funding that comes from 10 percent of the student IT fee. In 2016-17, the board allocated $472,005 to projects ranging from the laundry rooms of residence halls all the way to the top of Tillman Bell Tower.

The popular Makerspace in the Watt Family Center for Innovation underwent a dramatic upgrade thanks to ITSAB funding. The space added stations for textiles, Computer Numerical Control, 3D scanning, 3D part finishing, and Arduino while boosting its 3D printing and laser cutting capabilities. ITSAB also funded four full-time student interns to staff the space and assist guests with their projects, as well as a slew of cabinets, tables, chairs and shelving.

ITSAB provided funding to upgrade the Carillon bells and help develop an app to play any song and let Tigers choose what to hear.

ITSAB provided funding to upgrade the Carillon bells and help develop an app to play any song and let Tigers choose what to hear.
Image Credit: Joey Bonitati

Another ITSAB project will ring throughout campus for years to come—literally. The student board funded an interdisciplinary Creative Inquiry initiative to control the carillon bells in the Tillman Bell Tower through a web-based/mobile application for the entirety of campus. Funding also updated the current pneumatic automation server, allowing the group to interface remotely but also increased the range of notes the system can play.  Eventually, the project will allow students to program popular songs and vote to hear them during the day. Installation will take place over the summer with a project completion aimed at the fall.

“Since our project was going to affect the entire student body, it made sense to go through ITSAB for funding,” said student sponsor Joey Bonitati. “Thanks to their help, we were able to purchase exactly what we needed to make the project as impressive as it could be. What seemed cool to me about the process was that every aspect of it was student-driven.”

Students who visit Cooper Library may find themselves using another successful ITSAB project. The board funded the replacement of more than a dozen iMacs for the library, allowing users to take advantage of the newest technology.

The CCIT Support Center will also now have a supply of Apple laptops to loan students while CCIT services their laptop, thanks to ITSAB funding. The board also provided funding for further hardware repair at the Center.

Laundry has long been a sore spot for students living in the residence halls. Soon, students will be able to use a Laundry Alert app to check the availability of machines and notify them via app when their laundry load has finished. ITSAB funded implementation of the system in the University’s residence halls, which will be available in the fall.

“Without ITSAB’s full support for our project, Laundry Alerts would not have been possible,” said student sponsor Mark Hinds. “The board has shown its commitment to Clemson and students by supporting this project and improving the lives of students living in Clemson’s residence halls.”

The Clemson VR Club will be housed in the Watt Center and open to all Clemson undergraduate students in the fall.

The Clemson VR Club will be housed in the Watt Center and open to all Clemson undergraduate students in the fall.
Image Credit: Clemson VR Club

The Clemson University Virtual Reality Club received a boost from ITSAB funding as well. The Club, which will find a permanent home in the Watt Family Center for Innovation in the fall, plans to upgrade its VR equipment and hire student interns to operate the equipment. The Club aims to work on VR projects and educate the community, having visited several local middle schools already.

“Through its support of the Virtual Reality project, ITSAB has shown that it shares our dedication to the direct empowerment of the student body through increased access to cutting-edge technologies. We look forward to tapping the potential of Virtual Reality on campus with ITSAB’s help,” said student sponsor Thomas Birdsong.

In a similar vein, student Claudia Giles also received funding from ITSAB to further her work in what she dubbed her “Coding Club,” where she traveled to Central Elementary School every week to teach students basic computer coding. ITSAB funds allowed Giles to purchase extra equipment and triple the amount of activities possible each week.

TED Talks have exploded in popularity, and ITSAB provided funding for Clemson to host its own TEDx event on campus. TEDx events tackle technological issues pressing contemporary society and include speaker lectures, video lectures, performer shows, discussion forums, and participant workshops. After a debut event in April 2016, the next edition is slated for the spring of 2018.

“ITSAB’s funding has made it possible to plan for bigger and better things for Clemson’s TEDx event,” said student sponsor Steven Patrick. “We’re excited to be able to plan a captivating, thought-provoking learning experience and networking opportunity for Clemson University.”

The board’s projects didn’t stop there, as ITSAB also provided funding to my.Clemson mobile app development, Student Accessibility Services, RiSE sustainable spools and a CUSG archiving system.

ITSAB will open applications for new members and funding proposals in the fall. For more information, visit the ITSAB page on the CCIT web site.