EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK

WebTech has new projects

Elections site, Shuttles 2, voting suite, more in store

Although you may know me as the contributing editor of The Poly, I have another group that I hold near and dear: chairman of the Web Technologies Group. WebTech, as it’s commonly called, is the committee of the Student Senate tasked with creating technological solutions that will benefit and serve as useful tools for the student body. As the committee approaches its tenth anniversary next year, I wanted to reflect on some of the services that WebTech has created for RPI students, along with a sneak-peek into what’s coming soon.

Many projects have come out of WebTech over the years, of which I’m sure you’ve used at least once in your time at RPI. Members of WebTech created the Concerto digital signage, an open-source application that allows for all kinds of content to be displayed on screens across campus. The system, which has since been spun off into a company by WebTech alumni, is leaps and bounds above the system previously used.

Aside from Concerto, have you ever been waiting at a campus shuttle stop and wanted to know how far away the next shuttle was? Chances are you pulled out your laptop or smartphone and visited http://shuttles.rpi.edu. You guessed it—the shuttle tracking system was also created by and is managed by WebTech. Some other projects that the group created were MyRPI Space, a system providing free server hosting to students; RPI Petitions a service that allows for students to directly petition Student Government; and Flagship Docs, a document management system for publicly accessible student government and club documents.

Those are some big shoes to fill! This semester, WebTech has a couple exciting projects in the works. In addition to adding new features and updating some of the older services offered, Erica Braunschweig ’17, Robert Russo ’17, Ylonka Machado ’17, Jason Lee ’19, and I are creating a brand new elections website, which will serve as the one-stop-shop for all information on Grand Marshal Week elections!

Former chairman and longtime member Gabe Perez ’16 is working with his Rensselaer Center for Open Source team to produce a brand new iteration of the shuttles service with a bunch of new features! Additionally, Perez, Michael Cuozzo ’17, and other RPI TV members are working on the deployment of Concerto 2, which will further enhance the already-useful system.

David Raab ’19 and Mason Cooper ’17 are working on creating a voting system that will allow for student government and clubs to make motions and officer elections, respectively, more efficiently. Dan Bruce and David Sparkman ’18 are building a fresh website and management system for RPI Ambulance, the student-based emergency medical service agency on campus. As you can see, there are many new projects in the pipeline!

Outside of WebTech, there are many interesting projects going on in the other committees in the Senate and Executive Board. You should definitely check out http://stugov.union.rpi.edu/ for information on the different committees and their projects, or email gm@rpi.edu or pu@rpi.edu for details on how to get involved!

If you’re interested in keeping up to date on our progress, or if you want to find links to all of WebTech’s services, you should definitely check out our recently-refreshed landing page, which can be found at http://www.rpiwtg.com. If you’d like to help us produce open source projects and benefit our peers, or if you have an issue with any of the services, please feel free to shoot me an email at webtech@union.rpi.edu!