Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parking on Campus @ IUB

With thousands of students bringing their vehicle(s) to school with them, Indiana University inevitably experiences a shortage of parking spaces, at least those near residence halls and academic buildings.
While finding a place to park may be a burden for those who dare negotiate the seas of pedestrian, bicycle and bus traffic during the week, more reasonable individuals will find that many safe, accessible parking garages, lots and spaces are available to leave their auto. 
Every year, students who bring their vehicle(s) to campus have the pleasure of charging a hefty sum of money to their infamous “Bursar Account” for a coveted IUB parking permit. For most, just one of these lovely hanging passes will be sufficient to legally park on campus for the academic year. Although, if you have a motorcycle, or some other motorized form of transportation, an additional parking pass will also need to be purchased in order to legally park on campus. And while an IU parking permit will allow you to park on IU property, it does not allow you to park wherever you want.
For most freshmen, their experience with bringing a car to college will be filled with bus rides (Hint: A Route) to and from Memorial Stadium. Unfortunately, most freshmen get an “E” Permit, which only permits them to park in any parking lots adjacent to Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall. For anyone living in the Northwest neighborhood: Briscoe, McNutt and Foster, this is a decent deal that will actually save you money over purchasing a “D” permit. For everyone else though, invest in a good pair of walking shoes or get to know the bus schedule very well… As a matter of fact, do both, because the odds are pretty high that you’ll miss the last bus of the night at some point… (To prepare for this, also read: When Safety Counts)
After getting to know the late night bus drivers on a first name basis throughout freshmen year, most returning students become eligible for some variation of a “D” permit that allows them parking privileges near their residence hall. The use of these passes is more strictly enforced by parking operations, so be sure that you are parked in the correct "D#" zone. (Hint: a D4 doesn't work in a D5)
If you’ve read this far and are thinking to yourself, “hmm… this sounds like a relatively easy system to manipulate…,” think again! Other than weekends, students, faculty, visitors, and EVERYONE else must display some type of legal IU parking permit in order to park on campus. If a parking permit of such qualifications is not clearly displayed while on campus, a seemingly relentless force of parking enforcement officers will inevitably notice this phenomenon and promptly issue you a ticket. Depending on the type of violation, a ticket can range anywhere from $25 to $200.
Parking on campus really is a lot easier than all of this may sound, so here are the basics that everyone should know: read the signage, interpret the signage, and obey the signage. 

Thanks for reading, hope to see you back next week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Connections" on Campus

In today’s world, connections are everything, but not all connections are the same! Of course, there are thousands of possible definitions for what a “connection” is, and many of these definitions  relate to life on campus at IUB. For instance, connecting with friends, connecting with professors, connecting your power cord to your laptop before it dies, and the one that everyone is doing at this very moment… connecting to the internet! I know, it’s rather cheesy, but in all seriousness, Indiana University is one of the most technologically advanced universities in the world. Being a “techy” person myself, it’s rather mind boggling just trying to visualize the immense infrastructure in place to meet the demands of nearly 40,000 students uploading, downloading and streaming data through various devices and connections across campus. And as with any network, an even more powerful knowledge base operates in the background to keep everything working properly. This seemingly endless knowledge base at Indiana University is known as the University Information Technology Service, or UITS.
Students speaking with technology vendors at "Tech Fest"
With the incredible knowledge that lies within Indiana University’s Information Technology Department (UITS), IU hosts an appropriately titled “Tech Fest” to teach new and returning students about technologies on the IUB campus. Held in the lobby of the Herman B Wells library, representatives from IU’s University Information Technology Services, and numerous vendors that supply IU with its incredible selection of hardware and software, are on hand to discuss new technologies, special offers and give away promotional items. Vendors such as Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, AT&T, Symantec and others all gather at this event to provide students with information regarding their latest and greatest software and hardware technologies, many of which are available to them at little or no cost through UITS’s IUWare Online store (  This incredible event is one of many technology oriented events on campus, and is a great way for students to learn about the incredible technologies that are available to them.

Accessing the internet  inside the Residence Halls.

Throughout every academic and residential building on campus, and virtually anywhere within the confines of the IU campus, students and faculty have access to the “IUSecure” network via UITS workstations located in many buildings throughout campus, their laptop computers and/or their smart phone. Indiana University’s complex wired and wireless infrastructure allows students and faculty to seamlessly integrate up-to-the-minute bus schedules, menus and hours for campus dining locations, upcoming campus events, sports schedules, computer workstation availability and much more into their daily lives. 

IUmobile, a free mobile app for students and faculty
With IU’s mobile interfaces, no longer must a student guess what’s on the menu at any dining facility, wonder if they missed the last bus from the stadium for the night, or run frantically from computer lab to computer lab to print a report that is due in mere minutes. All of this information, and more, is available to students in their room, in class and on the go. So with that being said… Fellow Hoosiers, we’re quickly running out of excuses as to why we don’t have our paper ready to turn in at the beginning of class, or why we’re late to class… All we could ever want or need to know is right at our fingertips. Thanks for reading, hope to see you around.
To learn more about the technology services available at Indiana University, including software, hardware and mobile technologies, visit the websites below for more information and links to additional resources.

University Information Technology Services:
IU Information Technology News:
IUWare Online:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When Safety Counts

Hello again, hopefully everyone is settled into their new housing arrangements and classes are going well. As many of you that are familiar with campus make your way around to classes this semester you’ve probably noticed quite a few changes that took place over the summer. Aside from new construction projects popping up all over campus, safety has been a primary focal point for Indiana University throughout the last year. With numerous traffic incidents involving pedestrians last year, including the tragic death of a student that made headlines throughout the region, IU has been hard at work identifying and addressing key safety concerns across campus to make traveling more safe and more intuitive in key, high-traffic areas.
While the past cannot be undone, Indiana University has taken huge steps to improve the amount of new signage and the quality of existing safety devices that are used to more clearly identify pedestrian traffic areas. This identification is paramount for alerting drivers to the possibility of pedestrians entering the roadway, while also encouraging pedestrians to seek out these locations because of their inherent safety features. Unfortunately, for drivers attempting to navigate campus during peak traffic hours, these new safety devices probably appear to make traffic situations worse than they were before. But as one may notice, especially in front of the Wells Library, drivers are forced to reduce their speed to a near stop simply to negotiate the sharp right jog that is used to reduce the speed at which drivers descend the hill and enter one of the busiest pedestrian areas on campus. These speed delimiting features associated with the three new, robust cross walk medians located on Fee Lane and 10th Street have so far yielded a promising outlook for a year without any pedestrian injuries. As with any new plan or idea, the human element must also be focused on and aware of how these devices are designed to work and how to correctly use them. To make these essential connections between the new safety interfaces and pedestrians on campus a program called “Get Street Smart” was created to promote safe, proactive behavior for all pedestrians on campus. Information on this program and other safety initiatives on campus can be found at

Aside from fixed safety devices, Indiana University is also committed to providing its students with an abundance of safety services across campus. Between the immense size of Indiana University’s campus, including all of its outlying recreational and specialty classroom facilities, students may at some point find themselves away from the normal, bustling atmosphere at the heart of campus. And while some classes extend into the darkening hours of the evening, who wouldn’t feel a little uneasy about walking alone, without some sense of security?! Luckily, this concern has already been identified for students that find themselves in these unpleasant situations.
With numerous safety programs for students, including classes on self-defense, safety seminars, extensive bus services, a safety escort service, emergency telephone towers and boxes located at every dorm and along walking paths, and a fully certified police department with officers patrolling campus night and day, students are never alone when traversing campus. Although a walking escort is reserved for females, all other services, except courses, are available to any IU student at no charge to them.
Obviously many more safety programs, devices and resources exist on IU’s flagship campus, both inside the residence halls and out on the sprawling streets and sidewalks that connect campus. And whether needed for a real emergency situation, or just as an immeasurable sense of security, students can rest assured that they are protected at Indiana University.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cultural Element of Indiana University

As one might guess, Indiana University is home to an unfathomable array of cultures and the traditions that make each of them unique. When a student applies for admission to Indiana University, he or she is not typically cognizant of the profound cultural, traditional and ethical environment they are preparing to enter. For many students, including myself, these incredible assimilations are discovered nearly simultaneously as one discovers campus for the first time.
Without ever being around such diverse groups of people and traditions during their high school years, most students would simply choose to avoid the awkward moment of asking “what is it that you are doing,” or “what are you wearing.” Although, just as these questions loom in the minds of nearly every student throughout their college career, especially at a culturally diverse campus like IU, these very suspicions are the gateway to a more fulfilling college experience. How is a student that has just left the comfortable confines of home supposed to venture out and discover all that IU has to offer without feeling intrusive? This very concern is vanquished by Indiana University’s Welcome Week Program for new students and freshmen on campus.
Just as many other large campus’ do for their students, IUB provides freshmen and new students with a week of events, specifically tailored to provide insight into the vast array of cultures, traditions, organizations, facilities and also a general orientation of the campus itself. By providing new students with a program that immerses them deep within unfamiliar cultures, traditions and ethnicities of both domestic and foreign origin, students can feel more inclined to participate in activities that would normally be well outside their comfort zone. “Culture Fest” is the gateway by which students are first immersed into the profound presence of cultural and ethnic variance on IUB’s campus.
With an indoor portion kicking off the event, students gather in the IU auditorium’s three tiers of seating (yes, that many students attend “Culture Fest,”) and then are greeted by the members of various cultural groups and organizations on campus. Following introductions and a brief overview of the planned events for the day, students are treated to an exciting demonstration of a cultural tradition, distinctive to one of the groups that await them outside around Showalter Fountain.
As students are ushered outside to enjoy the afternoon sunshine, they are given a handful of event tickets to be exchanged for culturally and ethnically diverse foods, both of domestic and foreign origin. Many of these cuisines included Latino, Hispanic, African American and Indian creations. And with the entire area teaming with games, prizes, booths, food, drinks, crafts and live entertainment, one’s senses are working overtime to take in all of the incredible diversity surrounding them.
As with all events at Indiana University, “Culture Fest” is a testament to the promotion and acceptance of cultural and ethnical diversity within the student body, and throughout campus.