For any university, keeping a large body of students informed of campus news, events, and classroom schedules can be a challenge. With more than 13,000 students, Saint Louis University (SLU) met this challenge head-on with X2O Media's Xpresenter™ digital signage platform. The University is utilizing the solution to not only keep students up to speed on campus happenings and awareness campaigns, but also as an emergency alert system in the event of an incident on campus.
SLU is a Catholic, Jesuit university ranked among the top research institutions in the nation. While the University's research facilities are state of the art, until recently its tools for distributing information to students had been out of date, consisting of bulletin boards in hallways and paper signs.
Installed by integrator TSI Systems, SLU's digital signage network consists of multiple screens located in different buildings across campus, including the Information Technology Services (ITS) offices, the Busch Student Center, the John Cook School of Business, the School of Medicine, and residence halls. The system provides a smarter way to communicate to students, streamlining the University's operations and eliminating paper signs. In addition, it provides a way to send out emergency messages to the student body.
"Our digital signage network is the first system of its kind on our campus, and has more than met our expectations," said Craig Williams, SLU's Manager of Multimedia Services. "As a communications vehicle, it has cleared up the clutter in the hallways and allowed us to take down all the paper signs for a significant cost savings over time. With Xpresenter, all notices now go into the system, greatly streamlining our operations. And our staff has found that updating and managing content is easy via a simple-to-navigate Web control screen."
X2O's Xpresenter is being used to drive the content on all of the network's screens in 720p HD quality. Each center plays its own unique, relevant content, such as the U.S. News & World Report RSS feed in the Busch Student Center and the NASDAQ feed in the John Cook School of Business. In addition, feeds from online sources for campus news and events are displayed across the network, as well as video coverage from SLU-TV, the university's student-run television station.
As an awareness vehicle for student development, the digital signage system serves as a medium to air relevant student programs for managing campus life. The "We are ALL Billikens" campaign is an example, shedding light on the importance of hazing prevention. To meet SLU's need for a mass communications device, one alert message can be sent to all screens simultaneously in the event of an emergency. Each department uses Xpresenter to easily manage and update content on its screens.
"In the future, we are planning to add more screens in the Communications Department, in the Simon Recreation Center, and in additional common areas of the residence halls. We are also considering taking further advantage of Xpresenter's capabilities by incorporating interactive technologies and wayfinding maps," added Williams.