Students call and SC answers

Student government at work

The Student Confederation created a new office this June to help respond to problems AU students may face.

The Help Center, as described by Chairman Carlos Ramirez, is an initiative to collect and document the complaints of students, which can be submitted in person, online and over the phone. It is a new system implemented to try and force the administration to hear the voices of students that have something to say about issues that involve them. Ramirez believes it is a first step in "bringing AU's student government back to the students," he said.

The Center was created as the cornerstone of SC President Nick Terzulli's strategic plan through executive order on June 13. The Help Center, also known as the Center for Responsive Policy, will allow for Terzulli's policy team to better serve the students, according to Mark Meadows, SC Chief of Staff.

"[The Help Center] will receive concerns, compile them and send them out to the proper areas," Meadows said in an interview with The Eagle this summer. "It can also help to monitor recurrent concerns turned in by students."

The Help Center has been running smoothly so far. Almost 30 complaints have already been received, including one on the lack of hot water in Hughes Hall, according to Ramirez.

Through a simple complaint by a student to the Help Center, the problem was fixed almost immediately, Ramirez said.

A few of the complaints that are now being dealt with are the air-conditiong in Anderson, the food in TDR, EagleBuck$ and off-campus parking. All these issues have been brought to the table within just the first two weeks of school.

For Ramirez and others at the Help Center, problems, if any, have yet to surface being that it is still so new. Their only dilemma is finding out how exactly "to make this work," Ramirez said.

Word about the Help Center is beginning to spread through the efforts of tabling on the quad, brochures at the front desk of the residence halls and through the weekly SC e-mail.

Members of the Help Center would like students to see the system as a way to reach out and achieve better services, a visual aid of where student's money is actually going. Ramirez said the goal of the Help Center is to be "credible, and to be taken seriously by the student body."

The Help Center has six to seven members each working with separate complaints that include Housing and Dining Programs, Campus Life, Academics and Judicial Affairs.

To contact the Help Center, call x6417, e-mail help@studentconfederation.org or download the Help Center's complaint form at www.studentconfederation.org/helpcenter.doc.

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