UT opened One Stop Express Student Services Monday afternoon, bringing orange pillars of glowing light into Hodges Library to efficiently guide students on common campus problems.
Located on the ground floor of Hodges, the newest addition to campus consolidates the Financial Aid Office, Bursar's Office and Registrar into one central and especially well-lit location.
Amidst four self-service kiosks, six modern chic desk locations and two flat screen televisions, cross-trained counselors like Taylor Shields hope to eradicate the infamous "Big Orange Screw."
"Instead of calling the bursar's office and having to be transferred to the registrar's office and finding out you were originally supposed to be in the financial aid office, you can just come here and we'll take care of you," Shields said.The program has been in planning stages since the beginning of Chancellor Cheek's Top 25 initiative and has been spreading from campus to campus across the nation.
There are currently One Stop centers at Texas A&M University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Cincinnati and Abilene Christian University, among others.UT's One Stop director, Darren Curry, came from ACU after seeing the job listed in January 2012. He said one of the priorities of One Stop is to head off problems before they start.
"If we can identify those students who will need our services on payment due date, we can ... begin helping them and encouraging them to complete some steps," Curry said. "Whatever happens can happen more efficiently and quickly, and they don't have to be stressed out on due date."
When campus activity ramps up near the start of the fall semester, both Shields and Curry predict a busy August for One Stop. But thanks to a technologically savvy queue system, Shields said students will barely have to wait.
"You can actually check online on the One Stop website before you even come to the library to see how long the queue is," Shields said. "Then, when you check in, you can go print a paper or do some edits and we'll send you an email when it's getting close to your turn so you don't have to stand and wait."We're trying to make it not such a burden; all UT students know that the lines at the bursar and financial aid office when school starts are insane."