Incoming students to live with, test new technology in WFU residence hall

Twelve incoming Wake Forest University students will live together in a residence hall to learn about new technology, share technical expertise with one another and occasionally help the university test new equipment that is being considered for use on campus.

Technology Quarters, the most recent addition to the list of innovative themed housing at Wake Forest, sounds like the perfect setting for a new reality television show, but instead it will serve as the site for the latest student program initiative planned by the university’s Information Systems (IS) department. With help from Wake Forest’s Residence Life and Housing department, part of the third floor of Luter Residence Hall has been turned into a dwelling for students who have a passion for learning about computers or who simply understand the importance of learning about technology in today’s world.

“Technology Quarters is designed to bring together students who desire to learn more about technology and want to share their knowledge with other students,” said Andrea Ellis, manager of student programs for Information Systems. “No previous computer knowledge is required. We want to give students a chance to network and reside close to others with common interests.”

Ellis said the idea for Technology Quarters was developed during a brainstorming session in Information Systems. The project fits in with the department’s goal of creating innovative opportunities to involve students with technology.

Throughout the upcoming year, IS will ask the group living in Technology Quarters for feedback about technology issues on campus. In addition, the students will be given opportunities to test and comment on new technology coming to campus.

“As the program grows, we hope to offer the students more opportunities to test the latest and greatest technology being considered for campus,” Ellis said. “We plan to interact with the students on a regular basis by holding discussion groups and inviting the students to participate in a variety of events like dinners, training programs and guest speakers.”

Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus has more than 25,000 active network jacks that provide students and professors connectivity to the university’s network from all classrooms and residence halls. To ensure that every undergraduate has equal access to the benefits of technology in an academic setting, Wake Forest provides all students with university-owned laptop computers and color printers. The printers and laptops become property of the students upon graduation.

Connie Carson, director of Residence Life and Housing at Wake Forest, says theme housing has been available at the university for about 20 years, but Technology Quarters brings something different from the other six theme houses that will operate during the upcoming year.

Examples of other theme houses that will operate at Wake Forest this year include Nia House, which is named after one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa and is geared towards African-American women, and a house called Baggataway, which is named for a lacrosse term and is designed for students interested in academic and physical wellness through the Lacrosse Club.

“What the theme houses do really is offer students a smaller community within the larger campus community,” Carson said. “It’s a way of meeting a developmental need and improving student satisfaction.”

Categories: Campus Life, Community, Student