One-stop student-services center opens in Sproul

Now, for the first time, UC Berkeley students can take the lion’s share of their campus business to a single convenient location, 120 Sproul Hall.

Director Carmen Ortiz assists a student on opening day.

Cal Student Central, on Sproul’s main floor, has become the one-stop source of information and assistance concerning financial aid, fees and billing, payments, disbursements, registration and enrollment. Staffed by a cross-trained, service-oriented team, the center supports timely and efficient responses to student requests.

“Our staff will provide the front-line services that students,” to date, “have received from different offices, some located across campus from each other,” says the center’s director, Carmen Ortiz.

Students may inquire at Cal Student Central about charges to their account, pay their tuition and fees, drop off financial-aid documents, apply for an emergency loan, order a transcript or pick up a refund check.

The new service center is an Operational Excellence project co-sponsored by Vice Provost Catherine Koshland and Vice Chancellor Harry LeGrande, who calls it “a major transformation” – one that “should save students hours of non-productive time traveling across campus to complete administrative tasks.”

Just what students ordered: casual by design.

Students identified such a center as a top priority during the Operational Excellence design process. Student representatives helped advise OE in the overall planning of the center – registering their desire, for instance, to interact with staff in a more casual environment. They provided input, as well, on the layout of the space, right down to the configuration of furniture.

“It’s great to see how much student input is incorporated into Cal Student Central,” notes ASUC Executive Vice President Justin Sayarath, one of three students who served on the advisory committee.

“Berkeley students, in the past, have had to work so hard to get the basics done,” he adds. “Cal Student Central should streamline many basic administrative tasks.”

Sayarath says he hopes the center will serves as a blueprint for future campus collaborations “to streamline the student experience and build more effective centers for student life.”

Visit Cal Student Central in 120 Sproul Hall, check it out online or call (510) 664-9181. Office hours, based on student input, are 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. weekdays.

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