Motivated by an effort to deliver the most efficient and cost-effective services, the students and staff of the Holmes Student Center (HSC) were hard at work this summer making several strategic changes to consolidate campus services and gear up for an impending renovation. These changes will ultimately save the university financial resources while increasing the direct impact our students will have through on-campus jobs at the HSC.
One of the most notable changes is the removal of the Information Desk near the Promenade Lounge. The information desk area is now being re-purposed as a pocket lounge for students, registration and welcome space for large events, and may eventually play home to a first-of-its-kind tech showcase with interactive intelligent devices (think Google Home and Amazon Alexa). Resulting from a partnership between the HSC and the Division of Information Technology, these devices will help guide people through the building and provide valuable campus information.
Many of the services previously located at the Information Desk have moved down the hall to the Hotel Desk, now called the Holmes Student Center Welcome Desk. Here staff and visitors can inquire about the location of offices within the HSC, obtain general directions on and around campus, find out event locations within the HSC, purchase tickets for the Elburn Shuttle, and of course, make hotel reservations for any of our 77 rooms and suites at the Hotel at Holmes.
The Guest Services Office, Operations Crew and Event Production Services (EPS) (formerly a part of Student Involvement and Leadership Development) have joined forces to form Operation Services. Located down the hall from the College Grind, this team is responsible for functions including basic building operations and security, lost and found, and short-term laptop rental. Students from this department, led by Operation Services Manager Brooke Lawrence, are responsible for daily HSC operations after 4 p.m. as well as general event security and meeting support both at the HSC and at a host of other campus locations.
Also newly re-imagined, the Reservations and Event Management Office has replaced the general office. Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., this office serves on-campus clients with their reservation needs, including tabling in the Center Café, hallway window displays, meeting rooms, event spaces in the HSC and several outdoor spaces across campus. Many EPS functions are also reserved through this office, with forms to request service available on the Holmes Student Center website. Student event coordinators work with NIU’s 300 plus student organizations to assist them in coordinating services like audio visual, space layout and setup, staffing and catering for their on-campus social events. Likewise, Public Function Supervisors Connie Rolon and Patti Gingrich assist NIU departments with their reservation needs.
This is the start of an exhilarating time for all of the campus as these changes are only the beginning! As early as summer of 2018, the HSC will undergo a massive, $20 million renovation aimed at creating a more vibrant and inviting space for all students and campus visitors to enjoy. To follow along with renovation plans and updates, or if you have any questions about our exciting changes, please visit www.niu.edu/hsc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.