New to the job, Augostini started the meeting by saying, ”The best way for me to orient my self to the issues to the student body was simply to ask you.”
There were only about ten or so student in attendance who were not affiliated with the Roundtables innitiative, and they were vastly outnumbered by administrators and staff who packed the room. Luckily, the Google Moderator questions ensured that the most pressing issues were addressed–well, they were at least mentioned.
Let’s go over the highlights:
Kevin Murphy, interim Chief Information Officer, presented on behalf of UIS.
- They have ordered the antennae to give wireless for Copley lawn, and they should arrive in about 45 days. Similar wireless for Healy lawn are due to be installed next spring.
- Faculty and staff and being moved to Google mail, so they will have full access to apps like Google Calendar, Docs, etc.
- They are looking into programs like lecture capture and additional printing locations
- They are planning on changing printing to five cents per page. Murphy admitted that the cost was arbitrary and mainly intended to discourage students from printing “hundreds of thousands” of pages.
- Work orders: annually, facilities gets 40,000-50,000 work orders, and they received around 2-3,000 work orders per week during the first month of school. They are looking into buying a new computer system to manage the number of orders.
- Facilities also addressed the state of some of the rest rooms on campus. They were in stark disagreement with one student in the audience about the state of women’s restrooms in the ICC.
Margie Bryant, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services, presented on her slice of the bureaucracy. Auxiliary service include contracting with Aramark, GoCard, the book store, mail services, off-campus housing resource services, commercial property, printing resource, UPS Store, and ZipCar.
- There are no plans to take back dining services from Aramark. One of the benefits of contracting dining out is that Aramark keeps sample of their food for three days in case of an epidemic.
- They have a list of vendors students would like to see in Hoya Court, but multi-year contracts with the current vendors precludes immediate action.
- Many stations at Leo’s are no longer serve-yourself for portion control. Also, because the “teammembers” like interacting with students.
- Pricing for meal plans
- The 45 block plan is so expensive because students are in effect paying for every meal.
- The 24 plan is relatively cheaper because they have accounted for the “missed-meal factor.” This was in response to a question about swiping friends in with left-over meals in the 24 plan.
- If people lose their GoCard on the weekends, they can get a pass from the dining hall.
- Flex dollars can only be used on such a narrow range of items because having too broad a use would be considered tax evasion. The Corp is looking to adjusting the system because their cashiers, not auxiliary services, usually take the brunt of student frustrations in this regard.
- FOBs (like SmartTrip cards) were mentioned as an alternative to swiping Go-cards. Brant said they have thought about that but mentioned no plans.
Rocky DelMonaco, Vice President of University Safety, brought some of the staffers in charge of specific division of safety with him.
- Most of the crimes occur off campus. Incidents on campus are few and far between
- Hotel locks (ie automatically locking doors): typically, each summer, one residence hall is refurbished, and “hotel locks” are installed on the doors.
- There have been 15,756 ses of safrides this year, 41% of which have been on the M Street shuttle
- Generally, they were not happy with the quality of Saferides last year.
- They are creating an app for Saferides and thinking about installing tablets in the vans.
- Bike safety: there have been two “arrests” of individuals with bolt cutters on campus. They have been barred from campus.
- There are no concrete plans to change from a hand-written system for signing people into dorms
- There was a 30% increase in alcohol related violations last year, why? Stepped up enforcement.
- (Todd Olson) DPS comes with GERMS on calls because (1) it is standard practice and (2) to ensure the safety of the responders. The university has an amnesty agreement with GERMS, so there are no punitive measures if a student calls GERMS for an alcohol related incident.
Jonalyn Ware Greene, Assistant Vice President for Student Housing, brought up student housing and student space.
- A few years ago, housing moved the upperclassman housing selection process to October so students would have be able to see where they would live on campus before deciding to move off-campus. Currently, landlords are competing with housing by making leases due earlier.
- In the past few years, housing has been able to accommodation everyone on the eligibility waitlist. There is not much demand (from students) for four guaranteed years of on-campus housing
- Pulling space reservations under a single office is generally acknowledged as a good idea
- Gender neutral housing? (Todd Olson): ”We’ve made a decision… that that’s not a direction we’re willing to pursue.” He cited the balancing being Catholic and Jesuit with being an elite institution.
- Housing has difficulty accommodating students after the end of the school year because of they need to turn around the dorms for summer residents.
The Google moderator will be kept up for the next roundtable.
Photo: Richard De La Paz