Wednesday, 8 January 2014

So Many People, in Such Little Time: Back to Classes with InfoLink


The start of the Winter term always feels just a little calmer, a little quieter, and a little easier to get going – unless you happen to be one of the students working at InfoLink! We asked them a few questions to find out what back to school looks like from the perspective of the students who help you find your classes, pick up your U-Passes, and who answer your questions about campus. 

How many people do you think you've spoken to in the last day and a half? 

“About 300.” 

“I’ve seen probably about 300 people this week.” 

“Well it's my first day and my first time in Student Connect and I've probably seen 100 people pass through here and about 50 have spoken with me. This building is pretty busy!”

What kind of questions have you been asked?

“Mainly directions, and ‘where can I get my Upass?’”

“Mostly questions about how to get to classrooms and buildings on campus; the [U of A’s] internal map guide online is a great help.”

“Almost all of my questions have been about used books, UPasses, and the Health and Dental Plan Office.”

“Lots of questions about transcript requests, full term course withdrawal, and paying tuition.”
“So many direction questions!”

What's the weirdest question you've had?

“How long does it take to clean the floors in SUB?”

“The weirdest question that I ever had was about what to do with the domestic rabbit that was running around in front of the Administration Building. We had a long conversation about whether or not it was a domestic rabbit or a jackrabbit.”

“I would say the weirdest question I got was on my first day working for InfoLink. A man dressed as batman slammed his hands down on the desk and yelled 'Where's Rachel?' The entire main floor of sub heard and looked at me.  But the weirdest question of the past day and a half came from someone who wanted to know if they could get a ‘pre registering in classes’ U-Pass.” (Side note: The answer is to that last one is “no.”)

Abed as Batman

What’s it like to be in the booth(s) during the first week back in the winter term?

“I love back to school time in the booth. It’s really, really busy!”

“It's great to see so many people around campus again after the break, and everyone is needing different information and usually I can help them or refer them to the right resource so it feels like a pretty good use of [my down] time [between classes]!”

“I like being able to smooth the transition for new students, but it can get quite frantic the first few days.”

“Honestly, I just like back to school on the whole! I enjoy how busy it is and how excited many people are about the fresh start and exciting things that are going to happen! This being said, my heart goes out to the UPass Distributors who will swipe thousands of cards over the next few days.” 

Since you get to give out so many U-Passes, what's the most interesting ONEcard photo you've seen?

Winking Selfie
Image courtesy of

“There was this one photo, I'm pretty sure that the individual must have taken it himself and submitted it, but he was awkwardly close to the camera, his head with tilted, and he was winking.”

Where's Waldo
Image courtesy of The Guardian

“Where's Waldo picture definitely. He had the toque and everything!”


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