The Garden City Community College Board of Trustees approved purchases over $50,000 for wireless access points and cameras throughout the college, a technological infrastructure upgrade meant to improve WiFi and security on campus.

Ryan Ruda, GCCC interim president, said the college’s current wireless infrastructure, generally good for six to eight years, was nearly 10 years old and in desperate need of an update. If the existing system went down, he said, there would be no chance for repair.

“Students are a lot different now than they were in 2009,” Ruda said. “Most of our students are bringing upwards of four devices to campus. Our current access points aren’t able to handle the number of devices we have on this campus. So, we’ll increase our reliability and speed for wireless there, as well.”

During the transition, Ruda said the college will establish a guest WiFi login for visiting organizations or parents.

Eighty-five of the access points will double as stationary security cameras, Ruda said, increasing safety and security throughout campus. The cameras will provide surveillance of the entrance points of each campus building, he said.

Trustee Jeff Crist, based partially on the older wireless system, said he “(got) the impression our IT infrastructure is rather fragile and outdated.”

Ruda said the wireless update, which administrators had discussed since the spring, would be “one of the first steps to improving our current infrastructure.”

In other business:

• Trustee Terri Worf submitted a drafted proposal calling for the GCCC president to “maintain a policy to prevent sexual misconduct by administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers and/or students in any capacity affiliated with GCCC.” It requires mandatory, annual sexual misconduct prevention training for all named parties.

• Trustees discussed setting up a GCCC email address that would allow college employees, students and community members to easily contact them, particularly one that would be accessed only by trustees and maintain a level of security. Community members Toni Douglass and Aaron Kucharik said communication with board members has been difficult, and they suspect it's because former and current administrators and staff members have filtered what emails trustees were allowed to see. The board asked Ruda to provide a list of options for an email at its November meeting, where they would discuss the issue further.

• Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Jacque Messinger presented the college’s strategic plan, which board members received earlier this year. The plan, which Messinger called “the driving force of the institution,” lays out goals and strategies for long-term planning for student success, institutional partnerships, fiscal solvency and sustainable infrastructure, and was created in part to satisfy a note from the Higher Learning Commission.


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