Now that school is well on its way, many have had a chance to encounter some problems, one of the most notable being the first mandatory payment this past week for the cost of living on and attending Colorado Mesa University. For most of those problems, IRIS is designed to be the one-stop shop.
Located in the Lowell Heiny Hall, the IRIS desk is stocked with several people to assist in solving the problems that students might have in their time here at CMU.
One such student that has been helped by IRIS has been Jake Kernc. Kernc has been to the IRIS on multiple accounts and each time he was there, he reported that the process was very helpful and went by quickly.
“I overall had a really good experience going to IRIS, it was helpful to have everything in one place,” Kernc said.
Kernc went to figure out what to do with billing and how to go about getting a work-study job.
This central hub of service tries to makes it very simple for students to get help since they don’t have to run around the campus, searching for that one building that will either take care of the problem or redirect them to a different building.
Not only has IRIS been designed to be very helpful, but it has also been used by the students. According to Deputy Controller of Accounts Receivable and leader of IRIS Anna Nichols, the program assisted around 500 students on the first day of the fall semester.
This intake has declined as the semester has gone on; however, they still receive spurts of activity between students’ classes.
Nichols advocates the availability and skill of the IRIS desk and its effectiveness in helping students solve their problems.
“Of all the students that come to the IRIS desk, we are able to resolve 75 percent of their problems either at the desk or at the self-service stations,” Nichols said.
That leaves 25 percent of students’ problems to be handled by the specific departments that their problem is in. When IRIS must refer a student to another department, they help to make sure that student has clear directions to the required building and/or desk.
IRIS hopes to have a good record of effective help to the student body and continues to change to meet that goal.
With an adequate staff of mostly volunteers, they are trying to figure out a permanent staffing plan once they figure out what services they will offer.
IRIS is looking into expanding past their in-person only service and start a branch that would take phone calls and emails so that they might solve even more problems, especially for those that are too busy to stop by IRIS.
IRIS is also working on a student advisory group to hear from the students they are helping.
“One of our student workers is working with Ben Linzey to put together this group to hear what the students are wanting. How do we offer the services that the students want in the method they want?” Nichols said.
IRIS is working to solve as many problems as they can and to make it as easy for students to make their way through college as unscathed as possible. With all that they have accomplished so far, paired with their plans to make IRIS better in the future, IRIS hopes to make its mark as an invaluable resource for student now, and to come.