BU residences unplug with new WiFi, improved lounges

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Students living in residence at BU can finally cut the cord. New investments in campus-wide WiFi mean that Brandon University’s three student residences will now have wireless internet access at no extra cost.

“This is a huge upgrade for our residents, who were previously limited to ethernet cable connections,” said Jackie Nichol, BU’s Ancillary Services Manager. “Students will no longer have to purchase their own routers and struggle with functionality. Now there will be faster service with far fewer technical difficulties — and it’s all included in their existing fees.”

The new WiFi will permit students unfiltered access to online entertainment services like Netflix, as well as more convenient access to their online coursework through Moodle plus of course traditional email, web browsing, and social media.

“Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of living in residence, and this just adds another layer to that,” Nichol said. “While it may seem like no big deal to plug in a computer, WiFi makes everything easier when you’re on a laptop, tablet or phone. It’s one less thing for students to worry about so they can focus on their studies.”

Among other residence renovations being completed this year is the replacement of a plumbing stack in McMaster Hall which allows for 20 newly renovated single rooms in the all-gender residence. Those are expected to be ready by mid-September.

In the men’s residence, the Darrach Hall games room has a fun and fresh new look with bold colours, a new air hockey table, a refinished slate pool table and some pods that can be used for study and/or gaming.

“Common spaces are so important, and we really love how this one has turned out,” Nichol said, adding that the study room in McMaster Hall is also seeing some changes with new paint and modern furniture.

“The five lobby spaces in McMaster Hall will also be popular spots to hang out this year,” she said, “with the addition of 50-inch smart TVs and some fresh lighting.”

Currently, the BU residences are anticipating about 300 students in residence this fall and have capacity for about 75 more applications.

“These upgrades will really improve residence life for our students. Updating our common spaces and upgrading our WiFi makes BU Residence feel more like their home away from home,” said Derek Booth, the Acting Residence Manager at BU. “When students feel homesick, or when students feel the pressure of balancing work, school, and finances, having a space to relax and enjoy the company of their peers is fundamental to the residence life experience. Living in a warm and welcoming environment encourages communication and fosters connections between students, which is essential when we want to build a residence community.”

“Residence is a great way to experience university life, with tons of social options, academic support and the convenience of knowing that things like laundry and meals are just down the hall,” added Nichol. “We are all thankful for the hard work of our Ancillary Services team as well as the Physical Plant and IT staff who are making sure that this coming year in BU residence will be the best yet!”

(source: Brandon University News)