ACUI Virtual Conference Spotlight!
By Sayma Tasnim
Howard Gunston presented at the ACUI virtual conference on November 12th, 2020 about The Quest for Consistency in a Socially-Distanced Event Center! ACUI is the professional home to thousands of campus community builders around the world. Primarily focused on the work of those within the college unions and student activities field, the Association strives to provide an inclusive, welcoming community for all those who choose to belong.
The decreased engagement on campus has made it difficult to plan and manage Covid-19 friendly events causing many unprepared outcomes. Howard discussed the appropriate response to the pandemic and how to combat issues concerning rules and regulations for events while also keeping students safe on campus. He addressed the importance of staying consistent for the time being while the future is still unpredictable.
This is the 3rd year in a row that Howard has presented at ACUI, presenting in March of 2019 and October of 2018!
COVID-19 Pool Testing!
Stony Brook University is holding Covid-19 testing in SAC Ballroom A for students and employees. Free testing is currently open on campus. Pooled saliva tests minimize contact and insure efficiency. Making an appointment is done through an online form, however we welcome walk in inquiries with photo ID and a mask. Test results are administered within a few days and positive results are given immediately.
It is important to understand the symptoms to look out for!
Please note if you have: any of these following:
- Fevers/ chills
- Cough/ sore throat/ runny nose
- Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
- Muscle/body aches
- New loss of taste/smell
Even if you do not experience any of these symptoms, take note of who you were around and your surroundings. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear in people who have contracted COVID-19. It is safer to get tested early on than to find out later.
Stony Brook University is offering free testing for employees and commuter students in SAC Ballroom A. Look for the bus loop on campus! Currently testing is being administered from 8:30AM to 2:30PM, Monday through Thursday. COVID-19 testing will finish at the end of the Spring 2021 semester on May 20th, 2021.
There are a few steps to take before coming in for a pooled saliva test.
- Avoid eating/drinking 3 hours before the test
- Do not brush your teeth at least 3 hours before the test
- Make sure to bring your face mask and ID
Walk-in testing is open to students before 3:00 pm, just make sure that you fill out the online registration form.
Make sure to bring a student photo identification card and your insurance card with you.
- You can call the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO) at (631) 632-6720 for any concerns about mental health, alcohol and other substances, healthy relationships and sexual violence, including Let’s Talk , an informal and confidential way to speak with a counselor, SB Union, Room 108.
- You can also reach out to the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for confidential individual and group counseling. Group counseling is offered through zoom due to COVID-19. If you would like to speak to a licensed mental health counselor, call CAPS at (631) 632-6720; if it is after regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm), press 2 to speak with a counselor. You can also call CAPS After Hours to speak to a counselor 24/7 at (855) 509-5742.
Major Audio Visual Upgrades!
Recently, we sat down with our A/V Coordinator, Michael Ingenito to give us his insight about the novel updates to our renowned Sidney Gelder Auditorium, Ballroom spaces and Union meeting rooms. These remarkable efforts established state of the art audio-visual systems in our large programming spaces. The Auditorium received a full digital audio and video renovation with upgraded equipment and software systems. This includes Touch Screen HD Video Control, a 64 Channel Digital Mixing Board, Reinforced Speakers, Digital Equalization, and wireless video and audio projection. These renovations allow for simple streaming, versatile adaptations, and an enhanced listening experience.
- The SAC auditorium and Ballrooms A & B are boasting plenty of new and updated features this semester. These spaces all have wireless video and sound through Solstice Pod, and touch panel control from the booth.
In terms of the individual spaces, the auditorium has been given a digital makeover for sound and video, and is now HDMI compatible from the podium and the booth. It also has touch panel control from both the booth and podium, as well as a Blu Ray disc player. Speakers have been added to the front of house for better sound quality and room fill, and the room is professionally EQ’d room with no microphone feedback. If needed, we have the ability to connect up to 15 additional microphones or instruments for stage performances. Stage spotlights have also been rewired and are working great for any event style.
Ballrooms A & B now have digital video from the booth, with HDMI connections from the booth, as well as reinforced audio connections from the front of house. Ballroom A also has a new high definition projection screen for enhanced viewing quality, and an upgraded Blu Ray disc player. We can simultaneously project what is being viewed into Ballroom A into Ballroom B, and vice versa.
The Union Auditorium has a self-service style lecture hall with built in ceiling speakers. This is powered in front by the Crestron touch panel, with multiple video inputs including HDMI. There is now a room PC, wireless video and sound via Solstice Pod, as well as lectern microphone, with wireless handheld microphone capabilities. This space is also great for movie viewings, with its stadium seating, large projection screen, and enriched sound quality.
The Union Ballroom is now fully equipped with full room hanging speakers with subs and speaker fills for the entire room. All digital sound and audio is controlled by Crestron Touch pads from the Podium and the Booth. The fully equipped audio visual booth includes a digital Yamaha mixer, Crestron touch screen, rechargeable wireless microphone system, an additional video output screen, and JBL booth monitors for enhanced mixing experience. We can accommodate up to 10 video inputs, including HDMI laptop connections, a dedicated Room PC, Solstice Pod, Blu Ray disc, and multiple inputs from the front of house if needed. The press feed area includes 2 audio outputs and HDMI video outputs and 1 DJ audio input. The Ballroom may also have up to 6 wireless microphones/or lapels at any time, with the ability to add multiple wired microphones, instruments and stage monitors for performers.
One of the greatest additions to all of our spaces is the Solstice Pod! We can connect any device at any time from anywhere inside the space. On a computer, you can go to the Solstice website and download it for your platform (Windows, Mac, etc). On a phone, the app can be downloaded for free on the app store. Once downloaded, you can open the app and follow the onscreen directions to type in the IP address and, then, the 4 digit key. Solstice can be used for events where multiple devices need to be streamed to a screen at once, like a large conference with multiple keynote speakers. With this technology, we can seamlessly transition between devices.
Another awesome capability is the redesign and set-up in the SAC Auditorium, Union Ballroom, and Union Auditorium so that there is virtually no feedback from microphones anywhere in the room! Aside from these spaces, we have fully-equipped large meeting rooms with video-conferencing capabilities, Solstice Pod, and a room PC.
The sound is pristine: very crisp, clear and balanced. All rooms have been professionally equalized for optimal performance.
Yes, the touch pads are very user-friendly, and once you know how to use one room they are all pretty similar in function. There are full step-by-step instructions, and QR codes leading to a video on how to work the technology, if needed. We'll post the link to the tutorial videos below!
Our goal is to ensure the success of events and the delivery of excellent services. With these renovations, we hope to amplify the technological quality of current and future events. Please familiarize yourself with our tutorial videos !
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