College Council discusses line management program

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Emma Mendiola, dean of student affairs, and Robert Vela, vice president for student and academic success, listen to David Mrizek, vice president of college services, as he reminds the council of building evacuations.  Casey Alcala

Emma Mendiola, dean of student affairs, and Robert Vela, vice president for student and academic success, listen to David Mrizek, vice president of college services, as he reminds the council of building evacuations. Casey Alcala

Evacuation drills to begin this month.

By Emily Rodriguez

erodriguez734@student.alamo.edu

College Council learned of a new program to manage crowding and lines around campus and discussed where students should purchase textbooks Sept. 10 in the visual arts center.

Admissions Director Martin Ortega introduced to the Council Qless, a program to manage lines for admissions and records, veterans affairs, financial aid, advising and the mega lab.

Ortega said the program could be implemented by early October.

The system allows students to use a cellphone or a kiosk to check into a virtual line to prevent waiting in a physical line for long periods of time.

“As you know, some of the areas during peak times of the year, we get really long lines and wait times. What we’re trying to achieve with this is give the students back their time and give them some options for some things they can do on campus while they’re waiting,” Ortega said.

This semester, 25,458 students attend this college including students attending classes offered by this college at Northeast Lakeview College before the census date.

Enrollment for the 2012-13 academic year was 25,721 for fall and 25,038 for the spring semester.

In other news, a celebration for “From the Ground Up,” was announced at the meeting and was held Wednesday.

“From the Ground Up” is the campaign of Foundations of Excellence Task Force to study the environment for transfer-bound students.

The Foundations of Excellence is a two-year study that comes from the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education to assist institutions in identifying their strengths and weaknesses to form a corrective action plan.

The study was conducted last year, and six action items identified will be worked on this academic year.

“One of the things that we want to do is relocate the transfer center to a more visible spot. We are working on that, and it is well underway,” President Robert Zeigler said.

Also, David Mrizek, vice president of college services, reminded the council of planned evacuation drills in September and October.

The evacuation drills are planned to prevent unnecessary response from the fire department.

On another topic, all departments or offices at this college that have a social media presence must register with the public relations department.

“The PR council is coming together to provide a social media policy for the entire district. This is just the first step of that,” public relations Director Vanessa Torres said. “We’ll be sending out information and a form to register your site with us.”

Finally, Zeigler said instructors should not purposely “steer students away” from the bookstore because the Follett Corp. returns a percent of what is earned as a commission to the district.

The district has an exclusive contract with the company, making the district unable to bring other bookstores to sell books at district colleges.

Several e-syllabi have encouraged students not to purchase the required texts from the college’s bookstore, Zeigler said.

“There are options, and students have a right to know what the options are. But I would prefer, and we would be much safer, if we just laid out the options without recommendations or editorial comments,” Zeigler said.

Gary O’Bar, district director of purchasing, said that Follett Corp pays the district an annual $1 million guaranteed commission payment.

It is estimated that the district will receive an additional $183,000 for sales commissions.

The company also gives the district $50,000 in gift cards to distribute to students.

Additionally, Follett Corp gives students a 5 percent discount off of the list price.

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