What does my investment in UConn technology look like? 

All students pay a mandatory technology fee. Read more to find out what this fee goes towards. Illustration by Kristine Tran/Daily Campus.

Every semester, University of Connecticut students pay a mandatory technology fee on their fee bills. With rising costs and an ever-changing landscape, will we be paying more for tech resources we won’t be receiving? 

The undergraduate technology fee has been used to support a variety of resources over the years. According to the Office of the Bursar, the technology fee “supports IT services that directly benefit students, including hi-tech classrooms, software licensing and delivery, computers in common-use areas, and wireless.” These funds are used to grow partnerships with software providers, which in turn provides opportunities to students such as the use of Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Creative Suite and specialty software at a reduced cost or at no cost. It also supports hardware infrastructure projects and other shared services, including the technology available in the Homer Babbidge Library, WEPA print stations and connected app and wireless access all around campus. 

Since at least 2014, the per-semester technology fee increased from $60 to $75 in 2014, then to $87 in 2022 and newly to $92 in 2023. Technology resource costs have risen exponentially in the last 10 years, causing the fee to shift. As we move toward a more connected world, our lives will be reliant on technology resources on an everyday basis. In fact, as UConn students, classes use Husky CT, we take notes in Word, send emails online and more. 

UConn students should have a greater influence on the types of resources and services we are using. In July, ITS sent out a school-wide email announcing their intention to switch away from the Google ecosystem. Although this decision was unpopular with students, it will effectively consolidate productivity and expose students to standard tools. Part of the reason for that switch was a change in the Google enterprise cost, which would result in UConn paying a lot more for the same set of services, when they are also already paying less to Microsoft for more. 

Another popular technology resource available to students was HuskyVision, UConn’s cable television service. HuskyVision was established in 1998 and allowed UConn students to consume over 80 channels including local network affiliates, cable networks such as Nickelodeon, MTV, CNN and more, music streaming and provided space for UCTV Channel 14, UConn’s student-run television station. Originally, HuskyVision was fee-funded like other resources but more recently transitioned to being supported by general ITS resources. 

On Aug. 9, 2023, ITS announced they would be shutting down Huskyvision in residence halls. The service remains active in other parts of campus, like the Bookstore, Student Union and Recreation Center. Michael Mundrane, vice President for information technology and chief information officer, explained “… students have overwhelmingly transitioned to streaming services…it was decided to allow those resources to better support university networking and external connectivity. We anticipate that [HuskyVision] will disappear altogether over the next few years.” 

Although I respect that many students use streaming services, the cost of these platforms add up very quickly and do not act as a fair replacement. Some schools, such as Quinnipiac and Fairfield universities, have offered solutions in the form of a streaming app which lets students obtain access to these live channels in addition to announcements, on-demand videos and expanded sports coverage. Mundrane said ITS is open to exploring such a partnership, but that they are often more expensive than the wholesale-esque agreement HuskyVision operated off. 

This service change announcement was made after undergraduates paid their Fall 2023 fee bills and very soon after UConn Athletics announced an exclusive media partnership with WFSB-WWAX. Since Storrs-Mansfield is both physically distant from the Hartford and Springfield, Massachussetts areas, it is very difficult to receive television over-the-air using an antenna without an outdoor model at a high elevation. Without Husky vision, UConn students won’t be able to watch any UConn sports broadcasts on WFSB, WWAX or other stations and cannot consume live news or other informational and entertainment programming until a solution is developed. 

UConn students should take advantage of any free resources available to them, including free television streaming apps, access to Microsoft Office 365, other ITS-granted services and more. 


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