EDITORIAL: U. should better address student needs
Services need revamping, not 'One-Stop Shop'
Rutgers has announced that they will create a “One-Stop Shop” for student services in hopes of making students’ lives easier, which is projected to open during the Summer of 2019. This is a part of the University’s Strategic Master Plan to enhance the student experience and improve Rutgers as a whole.
A University spokesperson recently told The Daily Targum that through a survey, the University attempted to discover what types of problems students encounter often. In terms of student services, these problems included having to go from office to office, dealing with long lines and not reaching the right person to solve their problem. This, it is thought, can be solved through the implementation of the “One-Stop Shop,” which will put all the non-academic services that students need in one place.
The new location for the main “One-Stop Shop” will be on Busch campus.
But what does not add up is the fact that Records Hall on the College Avenue campus is the location for the Office of Dining Services, main services for facilities, financial aid, student accounting and the Office of Information Technology — essentially an already existing "One-Stop Shop." To boot, most students handle registration online, so it is not as though students are frantically looking for help registering for classes in-person like they are for help with financial aid.
If all of these services are located in the same building, then why is a change of locations necessary? Well, according to a University spokesperson, Records Hall has limited parking and needs extensive repairs. The thing is, College Avenue is considered the main campus at Rutgers—New Brunswick, and by moving this service center to Busch campus they will inconvenience the majority of the student body, or at least anyone who is not a STEM major.
At this point, the location of this new “One-Stop Shop” is the least of the University’s problems. Instead of spending millions of dollars to create an entirely new center, the administration should use that money to improve the staff within these services. What these services really need are things like more employees, shorter wait times and better hours. These offices are not even open on the weekend, and during the week their hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, when most students have class and do not have time to wait in line for hours. Additionally, the staff for many of these services is bogged down, and students often complain of this. Some of the staff students seek help from turn out to be students themselves, which can be a problem because nobody necessarily feels comfortable discussing delicate information like finances with their peers. They would rather discuss issues with professionals they can trust and who know what they are talking about.
On the plus side, the “One-Stop Shop” is going to have a mobile component, with as many services as possible available online. This will hopefully help, as finding information about these things online is often seemingly impossible and can result in a frustrated attempt at finding out the information in-person, which is also nearly impossible.
We appreciate what the University is doing to try to improve the current student experience, like their attempted revamp of the bus system, but if they were really listening to students’ needs they would know that the new “One-Stop Shop” center is not a priority. If they really want to fix something, they need to see what the students are seeing.