GBTW: Spring 2008

Yay home-stretch, the part of the University experience that is both gratifying and frustrating. I have three of my term papers due right after St. Patricks Day, which kills any chance of celebrating in one of the last opportunities that I will have with my friends at the University. Luckily there is the BUSU Awards gala (Busies or Buzies, it normally acts as a giant show of self-gratification for those in the BUSU Community (Non-Student Employees, Event Co-ordinators, Select Volunteers, and Financial Contributors). There are still some unsung heroes, the ones that do not fit into the award molds created year after year and I intend them to congratulate them with something new. The unofficial "BUSU Fail-Train Awards" where both unrecognized success and obvious failure will gain recognition. More about that later.

Open Source Software at Brock University

I'm hoping that you can help me to promote Open-Source Software at Brock University. Open-Source Software, much like a good recipe, can help technical staff to improve the user experience with the software we need to use for research, collaboration, and development. We've all experienced technical difficulties at one point or another and this is an opportunity to advance as students and as a university.

I've been asked what I intend when I mention the use of OSS on campus. Here is my response:

The focus is still on Academic use, and I feel that Brock students are not being equipped with the best that a comprehensive institution has to offer. We use software academically for research, collaboration and development, and of course open-source is already in use in some areas. I would like to see Brock as a whole embrace OSS.

Open-source is already in use with Sakai, and as more courses make the switch there has been a noticeable improvement in student experience. This software will be scalable so that as Brock grows so can it. Sakai can become feature rich and surpass even the most revered of proprietary CMS software. Support the full switch to Sakai and open yourself to a world of information.

Research in science or the social sciences has seen leaps with the use of modern technology. Fortunately the current method is relevant and will likely help when students enter the workforce. However, Brock is not a trade-school and OSS offers us the ability to grow exponentially without having to grow physically. Making our school a leader in research, and adding value to all of our degrees.

I ask every student to help me to promote OSS, and help our faculties know that we should have this experience.

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