Student Technology Collaborative welcomed Yale’s incoming students

September 20, 2018

This year, the ITS Student Technology Collaborative (STC) welcomed Yale’s incoming students to campus with a week packed full of orientation events and activities.

STC hosted numerous orientation events for incoming undergraduate and graduate students throughout the week, but its largest event took place on Old Campus during First Year move-in weekend: STC transformed Linsly-Chittenden Hall (a classroom building on Old Campus located just feet from the Yale College First Year dorms) into a one-stop-shop tech orientation experience, hosting two full days of activities and education about technology at Yale. First Years sat one-on-one with STC Student Techs to optimize their laptops and other devices for use on campus. They explored a media equipment “petting zoo,” trying out the range of cameras, recorders, and other equipment available for checkout. They visited a demo public computing lab, where STC’s student Cluster Technicians demonstrated the features of MyApps at Yale. They watched an entertaining video about responsible computing practices, written, filmed, and produced by STC’s student Media Techs. They spoke with members of the ITS Accessibility team about the accessibility technology available to them. First Years and their friends and families took photos at a green screen photo booth, then watched those photos transformed in real time in Photoshop by the Media Technicians as they learned about media and design resources on campus. And finally, First Years talked with current STC students and learned how to get involved with STC themselves. To encourage students to attend all these events, STC ran a raffle, a scavenger hunt throughout the event, and useful dorm room prize giveaways printed with URLs to more useful Yale technology info.

This year’s STC orientation events were the largest and most successful in recent memory, with new resources and activities available and more than 800 students participating across the week’s events. Producing these events required significant effort and collaboration across ITS. STC’s three full time employee (FTE) managers ran two full days of training, including leadership training and off-site team bonding, for the 124 STC student workers who staffed the event. In addition to STC’s managers and students, 30 volunteers from across ITS joined the effort to welcome Yale’s incoming students to campus. Member of Yale’s Facilities and Security teams, YPPS, Dean’s Offices across the university, and several New Haven vendors also lent their support to STC for these events.

The STC program, with more than 200 student workers and a team of recent graduate managers, is the primary technology resource for students at Yale. STC supports students’ day-to-day technology needs, connects them with technology resources both within and beyond ITS services, and seeks to educate responsible, technology-savvy students. STC also serves as a liaison between the student body and ITS, representing the students’ interest in changes and new services. Start-of-year orientation events are a pivotal opportunity for STC to reach students, not only to provide support and introduce them to resources but also to encourage students from day one to contribute to and communicate with our program; student input is crucial to the program’s success. As STC establishes itself with incoming students each year as a central, approachable technology resource, the team seeks to continue forming new collaborations across the university to truly provide students with a holistic, unified program. The cross-department cooperation and overall success of this year’s orientation events will serve as a model for collaborative student technology support going forward.