CIRC implements student suggestions

The Computer Information and Resource Center Advisory Board held its first meeting last Tuesday in an attempt to address CIRC-related issues facing GW students.

The advisory board, a group of 25 students selected through faculty and student recommendations and CIRC officials, was created this summer as a forum for student input about the University computer facilities.

Suggestions from board members touched on a variety of issues, including Webmail and PINE mail education sessions. CIRC also plans to offer “premier services to students, such as scanners and color laser printing,” said P.B. Garrett, CIRC assistant director for client services.

Citing the Gelman Student Advisory Board’s success in meeting student requests CIRC decided to implement its own student board to “bounce new ideas off students and to get feedback on what students want,” CIRC Director J. Brad Reese said.

Some students requested lab signs reminding students to conserve printer paper in addition to more frequent lab cleanings and maintenance. Others addressed the problem of late-night paper jams in printers when lab technicians are off duty.

Redesigning the CIRC Quick Guide, a book students can reference to call CIRC employees when they encounter problems, was another issue the board addressed, Garrett said.

CIRC officials are exploring the possibility of more educational activities such as the Information Systems & Services Fair Aug. 21, which informed students about the services ISS offers. Officials also would like a higher CIRC profile at GW’s Mount Vernon campus, Garrett said.

Suggestions made by members of the Student Advisory Board will be addressed at CIRC senior staff meetings. Given a limited budget and staff resources, Garrett said CIRC officials will do their best to meet the needs of students.

Student members will be briefed by CIRC officials from a different department each month. In addition, board members will meet once a month to help CIRC stay in touch with students, Garrett said.

“CIRC is really interested in what students have to say, so I’m confident that we will accomplish what we are here to do,” said Student Advisory Board member Cathy Resler. “This is a form of communication that we hadn’t had before and it is valuable for both sides.”

The introduction of Webmail to GW is evidence of CIRC’s devotion to providing solutions to student concerns, Garrett said. Webmail was a direct result of student input.

CIRC officials invite students to make suggestions using the online suggestion box on the CIRC home page at www.gwu.edu/~circ.

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