Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Cluster offices streamlined to residential offices

By Katie Landeck

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Justin Surgent/Collegian

Students will have to walk a little farther to get to the Residential Service desks than they did to get to the cluster offices, but they will get a lot more for their walk, according to Residential Life officials.

“There are going be more hours for students to get a broader array of services,” executive director of Residential Life Edward Hull said.

Last year, there were 24 cluster offices on campus that were open six hours a day, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m., as well as in the evenings when Residential Assistants were on duty.

But after fielding complaints from parents and students about the limited hours and difficulties of receiving mail, ResLife created Residential Service desks to replace the cluster office system.

The eight desks – which are located in Baker, Brett, Crabtree, Dickinson, John Adams, Prince, Thoreau and Cashin – will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 12 to 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

“Students were trying to get services at times when the offices were closed, that if you thought about it a little bit were times when the offices should have been open,” said Dawn Bond, director of student services.

In addition to limited regular hours, last year’s offices were only staffed by one person the majority of the time, so if that single staff member called out sick or had to run an errand, the office would close.

Now, the offices will always be staffed by two people, according to Bond, hopefully eliminating that problem.

A survey conducted in the spring by housing showed that students were willing to walk a little farther to the cluster offices, but only if the offices would have better hours, according to Bond.

“The give or take was, we can be open longer hours and better staffed, but we have to reduce the number of service points,” Bond said.

In addition to the new hours, the offices will also offer a lockout service and accept mail from third party venders such as FedEx and UPS.

“Another concern we heard pretty consistently was, ‘I’m not home when UPS comes and I can’t (get) my package’ or. ‘I don’t want my package to be delivered to my neighbor,’” Bond said.

Bond believes this new service will help students receive their packages sooner and benefit the venders who will now no longer have to make multiple trips to deliver packages to the dormitories.

Students who receive a package at the Residential Service desks will be notified via email.

Previously, when students were locked out of their rooms, they needed to go to the cluster office to get the spare key. They then had 24 hours to return the key to the office.

The new service will allow for students to call the service desk to bring them a key if they are, for example, locked out wearing only a towel and do not want to make the trek to the office.

There will be a $25 fee for this service. Students will not be charged if they pick up the spare key from the Residential Service desk themselves and return it within 24 hours.

Katie Landeck can be reached at [email protected]

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