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Offices take over space in TSC Juniper Lounge

staff writer

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2014

Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 00:01

Juniper Lounge

William Andrus

The new offices at the Juniper Lounge.

Offices that house the new business services division of USU Student Services are now up and running in the lounge on the second floor of the Taggart Student Center.

Students have had mixed reactions to the changing of the student space.

Lindzee Neal, a freshman studying communication disorders, said she finds the placement random, but not inconvenient.

“Whatever they want to do is fine, I guess,” she said.

Kate Hadley, a freshman studying biochemistry, is bothered by them. She feels the space should be reserved for students to relax and study.

“I think they take away from student space,” she said. “It’s just awkward having them there.”

James Morales, vice president for Student Services, said USU Student Services decided to place members of the new business service unit in the same place to “support the esprit de corps of its staff and to provide a one-stop shop for the entire division.”

Division administrators knew they wanted the new offices in the TSC, but space is hard to come by.

“The Juniper Lounge became the frontrunner in possible locations after administrators observed that there was more space in this area than was being utilized by students for studying and lounging,” Morales said.

The student services division worked to take up a minimal amount of space in the lounge, leaving the rest for students, he added.

“This minimal-invasion approach appears to have been successful,” Morales said. “Students still have sufficient space for their needs, and the new unit has adequate room for its operations.”

The change in organization is part of a campus-wide initiative to more formally organize the people in business services, according to David Cowley, vice president for business and finance.

Taya Flores is the financial officer for Student Services and now has an office in the new cubicles. She is happy with the location because of its proximity to Morales. Flores said providers of business services were scattered in different departments before, instead of being centralized.

“The work existed, the positions existed; we’ve just pulled them out and put them in one place,” Flores said.

The goals of the new structure are to provide financial management advice and expertise in business transactions to the leaders over each division or college, Cowley said. In this case, Student Services has stewardship over university funds, so understanding the availability and flow of funds and monitoring and tracking expenses are important to efficiently use funds.

“We’re trying to take a look at each college and division and create the most efficient and effective business services group,” Cowley said.

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