IU not consumer-oriented

IU needs to focus on becoming more consumer-oriented when it comes to services on this campus. As an incoming graduate student, I have had experience at two other universities and, while neither was perfect, both were far better at providing parking, athletic tickets and student ID cards than IU has been.

Last summer I visited Bloomington twice to find an apartment and to become oriented to the IU experience. While visiting the campus, my greatest challenge was not actually parking, but getting the visitor parking permit. Once I got to parking services, I had to tell them my name and my license plate number, as well as which building I was planning to visit. In exchange for all the information I gave the folks in the office, I had to pay $3 for a visitor parking permit that was good for only one day.

One would think that IU would be interested in welcoming visitors to campus and to make a positive impression to those visitors. The current method of giving out visitor parking permits surely fails this test.

Another place where IU fails to be consumer-oriented, both to visitors and to students alike, is the athletic ticket office. When one of my friends and I decided that we wanted to see one of the upcoming football games, I called the ticket office. One minor hitch — if I wanted to buy student tickets, I had to go to the athletic ticket office. So I went to Assembly Hall and parked my car, only to discover that I had parked on the wrong side of the building.

After walking around the building I entered the north doors looking for the ticket office. The sign indicated that I needed to go to the elevators, but did not say what floor I needed to visit. It turns out the athletic ticket office is located in the basement of Assembly Hall. The elevator doors didn’t open for me when it finally creaked to the basement — I had to press the “Open Door” button.

To top it off, the athletic ticket office held an inquisition that made parking services look like a bunch of amateurs. In order to get two football tickets, I had to supply my name, address, phone number and social security number. I guess it was not enough for me to show my friend’s and my student ID cards.

Why does IU make its students go find some office in the basement of Assembly Hall, when they could sell student tickets in the Indiana Memorial Union? Wouldn’t that make a tremendous amount of sense? Perhaps a one-stop ticket office for all sorts of tickets could be put in the Union, thus making at least that aspect more consumer-friendly for both students and visitors alike.

I could rant and rave about the registration procedures, the worst I have encountered at the three universities I’ve attended, but I will not. Instead I want to say something about the inconvenience of the placement of the registration office vis-a-vis the campus ID office.

As a new graduate student, I got to register in Franklin Hall the Thursday before classes began. My next priority was to obtain my student ID at Ashton Center.

It makes absolutely no sense to put these two offices a mile and a half apart. Well, maybe they’re not quite a mile and a half apart, but it sure is one heck of a long walk on one of those hot and humid days that seem to characterize August in Bloomington.

Please, couldn’t IU at least put these two office in relatively close proximity? Now that would be consumer-friendly.

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