May 4, 2005

RSU Makes Technology Strides: Wi-Fi, Portal and Hillcat Card

Rogers State University has announced several major technological strides that will provide students and faculty with quick and convenient access to a variety of information and services, including wireless Internet access in the Stratton Taylor Library, a student information portal on the Web and the introduction of the Hillcat Card, which will allow students and faculty to make purchases across campus and check out books with the swipe of a single card.

"Our goal is to provide fast and easy electronic access to information and services for students and faculty, utilizing the latest in technology and on a wireless basis when possible," said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

This week, RSU students and faculty began accessing the Internet on their own laptop computers without the burden of wires with a new Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, system recently installed at the Stratton Taylor Library. The RSU Wi-Fi system allows students to obtain information on the web from their own computers at the library during operating hours. Detailed instructions on how to access the Internet on a wireless basis are available at the main circulation desk on the library's second floor. RSU students also can access instructions on using the library's Wi-Fi service on the new RSU student information portal.

The student information portal is a point of entry on the Web for RSU students to gain access to a variety of information and services, including a list of student organization meetings, notices of campus events, academic and instructional information, important financial aid information and a variety of policies and procedures concerning campus life. Students may also establish their own personal calendar within the portal. In the future, students will be able to conduct most university business on an electronic basis via the portal, including online enrollment in classes.

The portal may be viewed on or off campus at any computer with an Internet connection. The public may view portions of the portal but access to certain areas is provided only to RSU students. Students will be provided with a user name and password when they enroll to access the portal.

Students may access all services offered by the Stratton Taylor Library via the portal, including reserving books, CDs and other learning materials; searching a wide variety of databases; and accessing the collections of other university libraries via interlibrary loan.

The university also is making campus life easier by introducing the Hillcat Card – the new official photo identification card for all students, faculty and staff members. The Hillcat Card, which will be available this fall, will include a debit feature, streamlining all campus transactions into a single card. Cardholders will be able to perform a variety of functions with the new card, from checking out books in the library to purchasing books at the campus bookstore.

The debit feature that will allow the cardholder to deposit funds into an account from which all purchases on campus can be subtracted. Deposits may be made at the Bursar's Office on the second floor of Markham Hall.

Purchases can be made with the Hillcat Card at the RSU Bookstore, the RSU Café in the Student Union, the Coffee Shop at the Stratton Taylor Library and several designated vending machines across campus. Instructions on how to obtain and use the Hillcat Card will be available to all students this fall.