The Financial Aid Office relocated its reception desk and offices this week from the basement to the entrance level of Wallis Hall in order to provide more accessible services to students and improve the efficiency of the office.
The decision was officially announced in mid-September, following Dean of College Admission and Vice-Provost for Enrollment Initiatives Jonathan Burdick’s proposal last summer.
The reception desk, previously located on the basement floor of Wallis Hall, is now housed along with the rest of the Financial Aid Office near the building’s entrance on the main floor. Downstairs, the old office remains in use, handling behind-the-scenes operations such as publications, systems and document operations.
Burdick pointed out that the primary reason to move up the reception desk was to provide more visible services and to better greet students.
Burdick noted that the new location would be advantageous to new students, who are typically interested in Financial Aid when they come to Rochester, and can now get started all in one place.
While the entire moving process will not be completed until approximately this Thanksgiving, Financial Aid services will not be interrupted, as the front desk is still busy booking interviews. Last year, a new student organization, the Peaceful Protest of Financial Aid, was formed to question the transparency of the Financial Aid system. When asked whether the move was intended to respond to some of the requests from the student protestors, Burdick explained, “I had offered this move as an example of a reform I’d be happy to undertake, though it wasn’t one that the students themselves had suggested.”
Burdick also recognized the proposals that the SA Government and protesters brought up during a meeting in April this year. Some of the reforms are currently being discussed in regular dialogues, such as an early reminder system for the financial aid package changes. Some other reforms take more time to plan and will, according to Burdick, involve further conversations.
Burdick expressed his excitement about being able to provide better students. He added that the move is just one step in a chain of improvements, and that there is more work to be done.
Wang is a member of
the class of 2017.