Hawks Instant Messaging

Hawks Communicating Through Instant Messaging

The University will be going live with a brand new communication experience for students: Microsoft Lync. Each computer on campus will be connected to a server, which will allow students to log in and talk with each other while they work.

According to the Microsoft website, “Microsoft Lync is a new connected user experience transforming every communication into an interaction that is more collaborative, engaging, and accessible from anywhere.” The new program will provide a single user interface that unites voice communications, instant messaging (IM), audio, video, and conferencing into a richer, more contextual offering. Student users can add and connect with users on public IM services such as Windows Live, AOL, and Yahoo! and communicate with them using their single user identity.

Edward Christensen, Vice President for Information Management, said the program is still being tested and is only available in some labs across campus. “We’re only halfway through the Windows 7 implementation on campus and Microsoft Lync is part of that suite. The program can be beneficial to the students, but we are still in the testing stage,” Christensen said.

Students are enthusiastic about the program. “I think it’s a good idea, something different you wouldn’t normally see on a college campus. Sometimes you’re sitting in the library with friends, but you don’t want to talk and bother other kids, so now you can chat on the computer instead,” said senior Tonianne Lisanti. “The library is always packed, and you can’t always sit together with your groups, so I like that I could still work with them. Even though we aren’t sitting together, we could still do work, talk, and then come together after. ”

The idea is that students can connect instantly with IM, and as more information is needed on a subject, more students can be added to the conversation. If a group of students are working together on a project in the library, but at separate computer stations, they can connect and share the information they gathered.

While he seems to like the idea, Philip Grab, senior, is skeptical about how much work will get done while friends chat with each other. “I don’t know if a lot of kids will actually work with their friends instant messaging them, especially if they’re in the library next to, or near, each other. I like the idea, but it will probably distract a lot of students, and just make procrastination worse,” Grab said.

Commuters and other students at the University are still in between about whether it is a good idea or not. Some students like the idea but are wondering why it is needed. “I still think it’s pretty cool, but I think kids will still use their cell phones rather than a computer program,” said junior Neil Best.

 The launch date for the program is unknown. Students can expect an email from Christensen, or another senior faculty member, regarding the program and details on how you can begin using it. According to Christensen, the program will not be implemented until sometime next year.