Meeting solutions: Videoconferencing and ample UTSA Downtown Campus parking

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(March 3, 2011)--With the temporary loss of parking spaces because of the east garage construction on the UTSA Main Campus, parking for meetings may be a bit more frustrating. But, another solution is scheduling a meeting in a videoconference-capable room, free of charge.

"Videoconferencing is a viable solution to the parking woes we currently experience and will experience in the near future," said Jesse Zapata, vice provost for the UTSA Downtown Campus. "It is simple to set up, it can accommodate many participants and it is readily available. It is an underutilized service at UTSA that is a great benefit."

Videoconferencing is offered through the Office of Academic Technology. It can be used for teaching, research, workshops, administrative meetings, job interviews and virtual field trips.

"Right now, the system is mostly being used by faculty who like to connect their students to experts and faculty in other parts of the world," said Robert Granado, assistant director of videoconferencing operations. "But, if anyone else on campus is interested, they can contact me and we will schedule the conference site as well as provide on-site technical support."

Setting up a videoconference is easy to do. First, visit the Office of Information Technology's Videoconferencing website. Then, fill out a videoconferencing form and hit submit. Granado takes it from there, scheduling your event at one of 14 sites available at the Main Campus, Downtown Campus, University Heights and Institute of Texan Cultures.

"We like to have at least 48 hours notice of the event so we can schedule the space and test the equipment, especially if any off-campus sites are included," said Granado. "We like to make sure everything is technologically compatible so your meeting will be smooth and effective."

Another solution to avoid the parking blues is to simply schedule your meeting toward the end of the workday at a parking-friendly location -- the Downtown Campus.

"We have ample parking and meeting space and are happy to accommodate any number," said Zapata.

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>> For more information about videoconferencing, call Academic Technology at 210-458-4520 or e-mail Robert Granado.

>> To schedule a meeting space at the UTSA Downtown Campus, visit the UTSA Calendar website.