Small colleges and universities can offer great benefits such as smaller class sizes and stronger learning communities, but students still can have a hard time determining the right place to go to address concerns. That’s why I suggest Dillard consider what other schools like Auburn University and Abilene Christian University have done and create a campus information desk.
A common problem is Business and Finance getting confused with Financial Aid.
Financial Aid Director Denise Spellman said, “Students do get confused with Business and Finance and Financial Aid because we both deal with financial needs.”
Jatauria Lathan, a biology major from Houston, recalled her experience. She went to Business and Finance to discuss her scholarship, not realizing she needed to go to Financial Aid.
“I thought it was going to be quick,” she said, but she was mistaken.
From Business and Finance, Lathan was told to go to Financial Aid to resolve her issue, but then she had to return to Business and Finance to resolve the other part of the problem.
The best solution would be to implement an information desk where students can receive information assistance. For example, Auburn has the James E. Foy Information Desk in the Student Center; it provides information by phone or in person “to any question from details on Auburn events to the number of bricks in the Haley Center,” according to the university website.
At Abilene Christian, the information desk, open throughout the week (but through the switchboard after 5 p.m. and on weekends), “serves as a resource for all ACU students and employees as well as campus visitors,” according to the website. In addition to phone numbers, some of the services offered include directions, event information and reservations.
Spellman agreed: “It would be great for students to have a hub to go to obtain general information.”
Those against establishing an information desk argue cost would be a concern. Having to fund and train a full-time staff while also paying for technology maintenance could be a disincentive for Dillard. Some might also argue that creating an information desk could put a strain on social interaction between students.
While it is true that an information desk would be an added expenditure, Dillard University needs to help its students find the correct offices. Having an information “hub” would ease the burden for students.
Nzingha Bomani, a biology major from Shreveport, said, “It would be helpful because you would know where to go.”