Learn More about Reopening WCSU


Submitted Suggestions

Suggestion: Manage the computer labs so that computers are turned off at the appropriate times to conserve energy.

Answer: To conserve power, the staff in the general computing centers shut down the workstations, printers, and other equipment (e.g. scanners) at closing. Occasionally, the computers are left on overnight so that automated software and system updates can occur.

Students using the 24-hour computer labs are encouraged to shutdown workstations after use as long as there is not a wait.

Faculty teaching in the last scheduled section in technology equipped classrooms are encouraged to instruct their students to power down the desktop computers and laptops at the end of the day.


Suggestion: Use email to send all communications; save money on postage and printing.

Answer: The relevant university offices will continue to evaluate and engage in e-mail correspondence where practical and possible.


Suggestion: Stop hosting student e-mail and leverage Google, Microsoft or Yahoo to do it for us. This would eliminate IT costs as we wouldn’t need to own as many serves, data communication lines, etc.

Answer: About two and a half years ago, the four Universities IT areas began negotiating a contract with Microsoft, LIVE@edu to give students/alums forever email.  About six months ago, all parties finally signed off. Information Technology & Innovation is now working on a project that will allow us to get out of the business of hosting student e-mail (although students will still have a wcsu.edu address) and other collaborative tools.  This will decrease future investment in equipment, although we know it will increase the amount of time we spend on student support.


Suggestion: Whenever possible, replace proprietary software with open-source software, especially in learning management systems, content management systems and electronic portfolios.

Answer: WestConn already uses some open-source software and anticipate moving to additional open-source products in the future. We are currently evaluating a content management system for the Web site that is open source, and the wiki product we are about to make available for everyone on campus is powered by MediaWiki, another open-source product.  University Computing internally uses other open-source packages.

They will continue to look at other products. A couple of constraints we face are that employers want our graduates to be well-versed in certain proprietary software, particularly the suite of Microsoft Office products. Also, WestConn often works with the other CSUS universities on software purchases, which means the product has to serve the best interests of all the campuses.


Suggestion: Replace state-owned vehicles with energy efficient vehicles.

Answer: The university replaces conventional cars and light-duty trucks with hybrid or flex fuel vehicles in certain vehicle classes. More than half the university’s fleet of 50 cards and trucks can be replaced with energy-efficient models. As vehicles need to be replaced, they are replaced with energy-efficient options.


Suggestion: Toaster in faculty dining room does not need to continually run all day. It is rarely used after breakfast.

Answer: The toaster oven is classified as commercial grade and it draws a significant amount of energy when powering it on and off. In addition, customer responses indicate a desire for toast throughout the day. However, Food Service has been requested to continue to review energy-saving opportunities in its operations.


Suggestion: Install sensors on light switches to turn off lights when there is no one in the room. Maybe CL&P has funding to pay for this.

Answer:  Currently at WCSU, several of the campus buildings (primarily the newer buildings) have  light sensors.  While any funding from CL&P has been utilized to the fullest possible extent, WCSU continues to explore and seek funding opportunities to advance the installation of light sensors in campus buildings.


Suggestion: Look for energy savings from weather-stripping and sealing windows; adjusting temperature controls in buildings; and keeping a closer eye on automatic thermostats.

Answer: The university has established temperature set points for occupied and unoccupied times in all buildings. Because some buildings are more elaborately controlled than others we have more flexibility in a building like the Science Building or Warner as opposed to Higgins or Berkshire.

We have set temperatures at 68F during occupied times and 58F during unoccupied times… this effort has already made a significant impact on our heating costs.
With regards to the winter break, the university is not closed except for the actually holidays at which point the set points are dropped to the unoccupied levels.


Suggestion: Equipment conservation

Answer: Direct all offices to turn off printers, copiers and computer terminals at the close of regular work hours.


Suggestion: Share office supplies to reduce waste and spending.

Answer: Offices will be periodically requested to forward any extra office supplies to Property Management/Shipping and Receiving. Property Management has developed a publically available list of surplus office supplies it has in its stockroom. Employees are encouraged to consult this list prior to ordering item(s). The list is located in the University’s “K” drive. To view this list, access the “K” drive, click on the folder “Common Areas”, click on the folder “Property Surplus”, and click on the list of surplus supplies.


Suggestion: Assess all publications for creative costs and amount. Some publications are very labor intensive and sometimes we dispose of several hundred extra.

Answer: University Relations and internal customers will carefully evaluate costs of all publications. However, the size of the press run usually has little effect on the price of each project.


Suggestion: Why don’t we go to a four-day work week?

Answer: It is the position of Governor M. Jodi Rell that all state agencies need to provide residents with services five days a week. This is also the position of the Connecticut State University System (CSUS), which has stated that our service population (the students) are here on campus and the departments, faculty, and staff also need to be on-campus to provide assistance.