Student employees at the Information Desk in the University Center are the primary providers of information on campus. They have to know where places are and who to contact if they don’t have the answer to a question. They also help distribute tickets for events, run the lost and found, and provide students with office supplies.
“We’re like the mediators for most of the information. Whether we have it or not, we need to know how to get it,” said senior Abel Champion, who has been working at the information desk for four years.
People will ask for directions to different locations on campus, from the Cox Science Center to Starbucks. Freshmen and international students especially will come to the desk and ask questions at the start of the semester.
“One of the funniest questions that you get often is when people come and they’re like, ‘Where’s the bookstore?’ The bookstore is literally right on the opposite side of the Information Desk so you just point across,” Champion said.
During the day, many international students gather in the UC Lower Lounge to watch soccer.
“They all pull up the sofas, put all of these together, and put them in front of the TV, and then they’re screaming for about an hour and a half until the game’s over,” Champion said.
A group of students play Magic: The Gathering in the UC Lower Lounge in the evenings. Magic is the first trading card game. Introduced in 1993, the game has complex rules, an organized tournament system and even a community of professional players.
“They were playing on Thursday nights for a couple of hours, so it was interesting to watch, because I didn’t know people still played Magic: The Gathering,” Champion said.
Students approach the Information Desk for staplers, tape dispensers and paper clips on a daily basis. But there are many more supplies available at the desk.
“Legitimately speaking, we have almost every supply. We’re an Office Depot behind our desk, but if everyone else knew that, they’d come for everything,” Champion said.
All sorts of items are brought to the lost and found at the information desk – wallets, credit cards, Cane IDs, laptops, sunglasses and even a stack of $20 bills.
“If we find a wallet or an ID, we’ll just send an email to that person and they come pick it up, so we’re pretty efficient in that,” said sophomore Gaston Melo Felgueres, who started working at the Information Desk this semester.
Recently on a weekend morning, a student organization had a meeting in the UC ballrooms and had changed the bathroom sign to say “Unisex.” It had to be taken down because this is illegal.
“The president of the organization came downstairs and said, ‘To what bathroom do we go if we do not identify with a gender?’ So that was a pretty difficult thing for us,” Felgueres said.