My Voice, Ball State's student-driven avenue for change led by Digital Corps, launched October 2015. My Voice discusses issues of campus, such as ways to improve campus WiFi. BSU My Voice Facebook // Photo Courtesy
My Voice currently on hold until new president takes office
My Voice, the student-driven avenue for change led by the Digital Corps, is currently on hold.
After two rounds of voting earlier this year, concerns about campus Wi-Fi received one of the highest numbers of votes from students and was chosen by the My Voice team to be the first issue worked on. However, until Ball State has a new president, the My Voice team is in limbo.
“There’s still a lot of things that students would like to see improved and a lot of great ideas. For now, we’re still kind of in a holding pattern with My Voice," said Brandon Smith, Digital Corps director. "We would love to see a lot of these initiatives take place, but we are kind of waiting for the guidance of a new president to make sure that we move forward in the most logical, sensible and efficient way."
There are still eight or nine other initiatives or charters the My Voice campaign would like to address, Smith said, but input from Ball State’s new president is necessary due to the potential of impacting long-term procedures at Ball State. Currently, there are no plans to open up another round of voting for the My Voice project, Smith said.
Although progress has been slow in recent months, Smith said the My Voice team is happy with the headway they were able to make during former President Paul W. Ferguson's term.
By teaming with Ball State's IT Department, conducting two focus groups and doing a survey and research, Smith said the My Voice team was able to create a presentation Ferguson and his cabinet were "very open to."
“We said all right, here’s the list [of issues], let’s move forward. Since that time, as you know, President Ferguson stepped away from the university, so things have slowed down a little bit,” Smith said. “We were able to take some great steps with the Wi-Fi on campus, both in the academic buildings, in the residence halls and in public spaces.”
Ball State hosts more than 5,500 Wi-Fi hotspots around campus to provide internet access on three wireless networks: bsusecure, bsuguest and eduroam. The IT department already had a plan to improve the Wi-Fi, but the My Voice team helped the department identify areas that were lower in coverage, as well as bring the issue to the attention of students in those areas.
Smith said as the Digital Corps team moves forward with My Voice, he is excited about the progress and changes that are being made. However, he said, there is still a lot of work to do — especially once a new president takes office.
“Since the departure of President Ferguson, the Cabinet and Board have been planning for someone new to step in and fill the vacated role. Part of that process is making sure a new president can come into office and make the kind of changes and decisions they need to move the university toward their vision,” Smith said. “President King has done a great job serving as an interim president, but I think he also understands the importance of giving a new administration the freedom they need to build up the university.”