President Bill Clinton’s keynote address for Meliora Weekend on Saturday will be streamed live for members of the campus community. The stream was announced by Executive Director of Alumni Relations Kevin Wesley in an exclusive interview with the Campus Times.
“We heard the frustration that students were having, and the strong demand [for tickets],” Wesley said. “As a result of listening to that feedback, we felt a live stream was the right thing to do.”
There will be three different ways for students and faculty members to access the live feed of Clinton’s sold-out speech, which will be held in the Eastman School of Music’s Kodak Hall at 11 a.m. Saturday. A high resolution stream will be available on the UR homepage for wired network connections.
A lower resolution stream, along with an audio-only option, will be available for off-network locations.
Viewers will have to be authenticated into these networks with their UR ID and password to view the speech.
The stream will also be broadcasted at various public locations on the River Campus and the Eastman School of Music campus.
A live stream of Clinton’s speech was considered earlier in the semester, but according to Wesley, it was not a likely venture. “In general, streaming for major speakers is not an option because of the preferences of the speaker,” he said. However, the idea was revisited in the wake of the enduring student backlash over ticket scarcity for the live keynote address and the four simulcasts.
“It was student feedback that encouraged [the Alumni and Advancement Center] to revisit the possibility of broadly streaming this event on campus beyond the simulcast locations,” Associate Chief Information Officer John P. Barden said. Advancement approached the William J. Clinton Foundation about the idea, and it was finalized last week. Wesley said that it is “very unusual” for any high-profile speaker to agree to a live stream.
After the stream was accepted, Wesley reached out to University IT to make it widely available under such short notice, a process that is still continuing at the present time. “The team has made great progress with limited time,” Barden said. “The biggest challenge is simply giving the broadest audience of students the highest quality experience that we can.”
In hoping to avoid the same network issues that marred the ticket registration process in August, Barden and Wesley have offered several tips to help avoid access problems.
Barden said that while the high resolution stream will be able to accommodate all viewers, the low resolution stream will “have some limitations that are necessary to reduce problems in seeing the speech real time through slower networks.” He encouraged students to take advantage of the high resolution option first.
Wesley said that viewers should not open multiple tabs or browser windows while attempting to view the stream, noting that this was a major factor of the network problems that occurred during ticket registration. “I ask that students who are [viewing the stream] will put up one browser window only,” he said.
He added that the IT help desk will be staffed during the speech, to attend to any possible problems with the feed.
Wesley provided a full list of streaming locations for the River Campus and Eastman campus. He noted that tests will still be conducted on some facilities, and that this information is subject to change before Saturday.
High resolution stream will be available in the following areas: All of Resnet, Eastman residential buildings, Wilson Commons, Rush Rhees Library Publicly Accessible Network, Carlson Library Publically Accessible Networks, Eastman School (except Sibley Library), Goergen Athletic Center, University IT managed classrooms, Fauver Stadium, Interfaith Chapel, portions of Wallis Hall, Schlegel Hall, Hoyt Hall, NC network in Towne House.
Areas where the high-resolution feed is not available, but low resolution and audio-only stream will be: Non-UR managed residential facilities (Riverview, Southside Maisonettes), all affiliated off-site locations, Medical Center and all related networks in Strong and Highland Hospitals, Data Center networks, Virtual Private Network, Wireless, Memorial Art Gallery, Rush Rhees/Carlson Library Publicly Accessible Networks, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Eastman Sibley Library, Towne House (with the exception of the NC network), other River Campus buildings not listed above.
Still being tested (as of press time): deKiewiet and Valentine, Alumni and Advancement Center, Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library.
Silverstein is a member of the class of 2013.