Technology transforms campus living

When it comes to amenities, students are requesting and expecting more technological services than ever before. Pacific’s new residence hall will be no different, but rather than having to update old wiring to fit today’s standards, the building will showcase today’s technology while planning for the future.

According to Chief Information Officer Lee Colaw, the building will offer wire and wireless Internet capabilities and each suite or apartment will have one telephone with University voicemail, although Colaw admitted students tend to rely mostly on cell phones. “Most students have three to five wireless devices they own and carry, but students like to plug in in their rooms so we will have both options.” In addition, cable television will be available for purchase. All services, according to Colaw, which today’s students expect.

“We go into rooms with two students and see two 27- or 32-inch televisions, two computers, cell phones, and they are listening to their iPods,” added Colaw.

Rare for universities, students will also be able to purchase high speed Internet service in the new building beyond what Pacific can offer. “This is very unique that students will be able to buy commercial Internet bandwidth,” said Colaw. Thanks to an exclusive deal with Comcast, students will work directly with the communications company rather than through the University.

No matter how they reach each other, Colaw said his notion that students are extensively technologically connected was confirmed in a spring survey of Pacific students living in residence halls. When asked what their primary method of communication with friends and family was, 75 percent of students surveyed responded they used cell phones, 47 percent said by e-mail, and 38 percent said instant messaging. “Now these things are just part of the basic services like plumbing” said Colaw. “You’ve got to have water, heat, and the means to communicate.”