Simpson Center Seminar Room Upgrades for Video + Accessibility
Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities
We are applying for funding to update the technology and accessibility of our seminar room, Communications 202. The Simpson Center brings together departments from across campus to collaborate on interdisciplinary work and digital humanities projects., Some of our work that is specifically for undergraduates includes our project "Pedagogies of Reciprocity" on study abroad and equitable relationships. This important project brings international scholars to the Simpson Center to speak to undergraduate students. Another high profile initiative for undergraduates is the Katz Scholars Program which gives a group of undergraduates access to our most VIP speakers and Simpson Center leadership. Other programming is aimed at graduate students, for instance, our graduate research clusters that are graduate student-organized and led and explore topics such as indigenous studies and disability studies. In addition, we host graduate students and faculty that use digital technology in innovative and intensive ways and explore the cross-cultural implications of digital culture. A major part of these projects and more is the programming we host in our seminar room. We are asking for a new projector, lavaliers, and an OWL live streaming device. Our current projector is over ten years old and is used by speakers to present their work to students and project stakeholders. Our projector has, on many occasions, simply not worked for some presenters, requiring the constant attention of staff and delays for important presentations. The lavaliers are an accessibility measure; while our space is not large, there is a bus stop right outside that makes it difficult to hear. We would like to make it standard practice for our speakers to have a microphone, as recommended by the Disability Services Office. The OWL will also to increase accessibility. It will allow us to live stream more events, which is important not only for accessibility, but also in exploring the new model of a "flightless conference" - an attempt to lower the carbon footprint of the university by having participants take part online rather than fly to the UW. We funded and hosted one such conference this year, "Religion & Ecology." Based on the conference, we realized the Simpson Center can do more to help the UW as a whole meets its carbon-footprint goals and combat climate change. The Simpson Center provides funding and resources to students and faculty, as well as enriches learning opportunities for undergraduates; this technology will aide us in our mission.