StudentLink — formerly NYU’s Student Services Center — opened at its new 383 Lafayette location on Monday. This redesigned area includes a variety of new technology, staff and open meeting spaces. Over 200 students visited the center on its opening day.
In addition to a new design, the StudentLink website said that the center underwent internal restructuring that has added in-depth counseling regarding student billing, financial aid, different payments, registrar issues, meal plans, housing and other student administrative areas of inquiry.
Marisol Marrero, the executive director of student services, worked with StudentLink on its renovation and said the goal was to expand and improve counseling space to ensure privacy.
“The revamping of the Student Services Center to the StudentLink Center will provide students, families and staff with a state of the art facility using cutting-edge technology and cross-trained staff,” Marrero said. “At the StudentLink Center we want you to come in and take care of your needs in a convenient location, most of the time by just speaking with a StudentLink Counselor.”
She also said that the StudentLink aims to create a welcoming atmosphere that allows visitors to discuss record-specific or sensitive issues in a professional setting. These conversations take place with counselors who received training in a variety of offices.
StudentLink Center Senior Operations Manager Nilsa Lam said that the new center is an easier way for students to find answers to their problems. People at the reception guide visitors to greeters who can answer quick questions and, if necessary, send guests to stations that are designed for more specific inquiries.
“It was renovated to improve services, as NYU is always on the innovative side,” Lam said. “So, in higher education, if you look around big universities — and even some of the small ones — have a one-stop service system, which is similar to what we have.”
This way, if students need more in-depth answers to their issues, they can go directly to specialist offices in the building. Lam said that this combination of offices gives students a centralized help center, which has been successful at other institutions.
“Space-wise, you can see that it is a lot bigger than 25 West 4th, and it is more conducive at looking at students’ inquiries and questions in a more holistic way,” Lam said.
She then compared the old model of the center to solving a puzzle.
“The new design prevents a system of puzzle pieces — where you get one piece and then have to go to different offices to collect another puzzle piece,” Lam said. “And then, once you have them all, you have to put the story together as a student.”
She said that rather than having students go through so many steps, the counselors and representatives do the puzzling for students now.
A Brooklyn version of the StudentLink Center opened in the summer of 2015, and Lam said that both centers promise high quality service and informative representatives. However, Lam said that some key differences are that the Brooklyn site is smaller, does not offer diploma pickups and has not integrated a global program like the Manhattan location has.
“Brooklyn StudentLink Center at the Tandon School of Engineering has been operational for over a year and has been extremely successful,” Marrero said. “We respect our students’ time between school, work and other obligations.”
Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Marc Wais said that StudentLink is a professional, personal service for NYU students and that it will provide students help with many different services — tuition and fees, registration, your Albert account, plans to study away and picking up or dropping off documents.
“It is service-oriented and is designed to eliminate people having to go to multiple staff to have issues resolved or questions answered,” Wais said. “I believe the new StudentLink will be a game changer in how NYU serves its students.”
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