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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

Student Services makes major infrastructural changes

Tufts Student Services made several changes to its infrastructure this past summer, reflecting an ongoing effort by the university to improve the quality of assistance and advising provided by Student Services.

According to Dean of Student Services Paul Stanton, Student Services has made changes in three different areas: changing how space is used in Dowling Hall, reorganizing staff and their functions and updating the Student Life website.

Recent construction in Dowling Hall has moved all of Student Services into the same space in the building, with a service point at the back right of the building and admissions in a separate area, Stanton said.

In the past few years, Dowling has faced problems hosting the thousands of students and parents that come for admissions tours, according to Stanton.

"Admissions has settled into expanded space to create a more welcoming area for our prospective students," Registrar of Arts Sciences and Engineering and Student Services Desk Manager JoAnn Jack said in a Sept. 8 email to the Tufts community.

The changes created new service points that make passing information between students, faculty and staff an easier process, according to Stanton.

"This way we can ensure improved traffic flow between Admissions and Student Services," Jack wrote in the email to the Tufts community.

Stanton also said that Student Services now staffs fewer people but that the staff has a higher level of skill to help resolve student concerns. Student Services' now streamlined approach is designed to help make finding the right person easier.

An aggregation of different student affairs departments, Student Services can be defined as the transaction-related side of student life, Stanton said.

According to Jack, the way Student Services functions with the other student affairs groups is now much more integrated. Students can now go to Student Services for questions or advice about financial aid, bills, classes, scholarships and other administrative concerns.

“[Student Services is now the] one stop for administrative stuff, so you can move on with your lives as students,” she explained.

Jack said that Student Services is now looking at the student from a holistic perspective at the administrative level, creating more personal relationships with the student body.

According to Stanton, it was only a matter of time before the last change -- the updated Student Life website -- came to fruition. The new website lists key questions on the homepage to make navigation and searches easier, and it is much more accessible on a phone, he explained.

Stanton and Jack explained that Dowling is now used differently in terms of infrastructure than it was when it opened in 2000. There are fewer students coming in with issues in person, and more administrative work is done online, they said.

“The whole idea behind Dowling, which was designed 15 years ago, was to blur the boundaries between student affairs, advising, student services and so forth,” he said.

According to Stanton, the changes that were made to Student Services are a "win win."

"It makes for [a] better service model for us,” he said.

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