Service provides answers to puzzled students' inquiries

Student Services' Information Centre solves questions ranging from awards and loans to housing and haircuts

by Hilary Thomson staff writer

It's like a green light for students stalled in a traffic jam of questions about UBC. The big green banner at the north end of Brock Hall announces the location of the Student Services' Information Centre which offers one-stop shopping for information on admissions, awards, accommodation, registration and general information about campus services. The centre aims to provide excellent service at a single point of contact, avoid sending students from one place to another on campus and reduce lineups.

"This gives a big boost to the services we can offer students," says Marianne Schroeder, co-ordinator of Student Information Services. "Creating and operating the centre with student input has meant it fits with what they need."

Between 75 to 125 individuals drop by the centre every day, says Schroeder. "The Info Centre has surpassed our expectations," says outgoing Alma Mater Society (AMS) President Ryan Marshall. "It virtually ends the need for students to wait in incorrect line-ups." The centre is partially funded by the AMS Innovative Projects Fund. The success of the investment has prompted the AMS to draw up plans for a similar information booth to be located in SUB in the next few years, says Marshall.

Information is also provided by phone and the centre responds to about 200 to 300 e-mail inquiries per week. Most questions are answered within 48 hours.

"We get asked everything from where to get a haircut and where to rent a house to how to switch faculties," says fourth-year student Mike Kleisinger, one of the centre's information officers. "Students can ask us 10 different questions if they need to--there's no running around and it's more personal than Telereg or voice-mail." The centre is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and Friday to 4:30 p.m. Staff can also be reached at 604-822-9836 or 1-877-272-1422 within Canada, or by e-mail