From questions about buildings – “Do you know where this classroom is?” – to questions about buses – “What time does the JagLine come?” – the information desk at the Campus Center is a one-stop shop for everything IUPUI.
Right inside the doors at the corner of West Vermont Street and University Boulevard, the desk and its workers often serve as a first impression of campus.
Originally the desk was just for information about the Campus Center itself, but it evolved to be a campuswide resource, said Angel Flowers, assistant director for the Campus Center and student employment.
She added that the paid student staff of about 10 students is just as diverse as the student body. Plus, the info desk workers are the true experts about life at IUPUI.
“The students are the ones who interact with the campus the most,” Flowers said. “They are the ones who know the quickest way to a building or where the food is around campus.”
In addition to answering questions from those who walk up to the desk, the staff also answer the Campus Center’s phone and transfer calls to different offices on campus.
They help unlock rooms for conferences and events, manage the building’s lost and found, and, yes, they even know where the mascot costumes are stored.
While many of the questions are queries the student staff have heard over and over or that can be solved by looking at the campus map, others aren’t so easy.
“Where did I park my car?” is a question that junior Logan Davis, the area manager for the information desk staff, has heard more than once.
“I answer with, ‘I don’t know where your car is,’” he said with a laugh, added that he usually calls IUPD IUPUI to help the asker find their vehicle.
Davis and Flowers stressed that working at the information desk isn’t about knowing everything there is to know about IUPUI, but being willing to find out. Google is your friend, they said.
“When it comes to the more difficult questions, we go through that journey together to try to figure it out,” Davis said.
One time that meant staying on the phone with a student who was trying to reach Counseling and Mental Health Services but had called after the office closed. She just wanted someone to talk to, Davis said, adding that he stayed on the phone and listened and was able to give the student additional resources to call.
The desk has even helped its staff learn more about their campus.
Junior Nabila Shaeri first interacted with the desk the same way that most people do – by asking a question. But for her, that question led to becoming friends with the student worker there and applying for a job herself.
Shaeri said that as a visual communication design student, she has most of her classes in Eskenazi Hall, so working at the desk allows her to interact with more of the campus community.
As for Davis, he started at the desk on the first day of his freshman year, learning the answers to questions as people asked them.
Because the desk is a campus resource, the staff are often nearly the first to know when something changes, like an office moving or a bus route being altered, he said.
But the biggest thing is staying positive and being willing to learn.
‘It’s all about first impressions,” he said. “We’re here and ready to help.”