By the end of the week, students waiting for buses on University Avenue will be able to monitor their approach from inside the Reynolds Club, according to the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities (ORCSA). A large LCD screen installed in the buildings foyer will allow riders to watch as buses draw near.
The monitor will provide students who are indoors with a live shot of University Avenue, via a camera mounted on neighboring Eckhart Hall. Available online at buscam.uchicago.edu, the video feed features a view of the street facing south toward the Midway.
The project, approved this past spring after an extended debate by the Student Government Finance Committee (SGFC), was fully financed with an allocation from the SGFC capital improvement fund. Since the approval, Student Government (SG) has been working with ORCSA, Networking Services and Information Technology (NSIT), and Facilities Services to install the necessary hardware and software for its completion.
Students waiting at the bus stop one recent afternoon said they were excited about the new screens. They note that while the buses on 57th Street are easily visible from within the Reynolds Club, those on University Avenue are not, forcing students to endure the elements as they wait at the corner.
Its super, but all I see is a screen, said Sara Sticha, a second-year in the College heading back to the Shoreland.
According to Sharlene Holly, director of ORCSA, the delay between SGFC approval and the completion of the project is due to the extensive installation requirements. Once a nearby location for the server is determined, the monitor will be fully operational.
When the monitor was first proposed, it failed to gain the approval of SGFC, and was only authorized last March after an appeal left the final decision to the executive slate. In both cases, the Graduate Council voted against the plan, citing its $7,000 price tag and the low number of students who would benefit.
Donny Copeland, who oversees the project as chairman of the SG Campus Services Committee, defended the expenditure. If you take the cost and the number of students using these buses this comes out to a couple of dollars a year per student, he said.