New iPad system struggles to create desired efficiency

Elaine Selna | Contributor

Skepticism is everywhere, especially when people try to innovate the old into the new. This was the case for several departments on campus. At the beginning of this school year, several offices, namely the OneStop Student Center, the Torero Store, and the International Center, implemented a new check-in system involving iPads for students to use.

Sophomore Mitchell Berry, the OneStop front desk student attendant, believes that the new changes have made things easier.

“This new system with the iPads helps make the office a more efficient place for the students,” Berry said.

The new digital check in requires students to enter their information, including their email and Torero identification number. At OneStop, students checking in also enter their cell phone number, so that they can receive texts when it is their turn to be assisted.

The Director of the OneStop, Sybilla Robison, elaborated on how this new iPad check in system varies from the old check in process.

“With the old system it was a much longer process for students since they would have to be manually put into the system and have to wait in our lobby until there was a counselor available to talk with them,” Robison said.

Aurora Espinoza, a firstyear at USD, questions whether this new system is actually efficient.

“Sometimes I don’t know what qualifies as being in the ‘express lane’,” Espinoza said.

The express lane at OneStop is for students that are turning in or dropping off a form, making a payment, or doing other tasks that don’t require meeting with an advisor or specific counselor. Students still have to check in to simply turn in a form to the front desk.

First year Rebecca Shea explained that the new system has proven inconvenient at times.

“Sometimes if I only have a quick question I still have to go through the check in process which takes up more time,” Shea said.

This new queueing system is designed to make the experience more flexible for students so they do not have to waste an hour sitting in the OneStop lobby waiting to speak with someone.

USD sophomore, Mitchell Berry, is the front desk attendant at OneStop. He explained how the interactions with the students have changed with OneStop.

“The wait can be as little as one minute or as long as an hour depending on what time of day and what time of the year,” Berry said.

While the wait time can still be the same between the new and the old system, it is designed so that students now do not have to sit in the sitting room waiting for their appointment. Instead, they can do something else while they wait for the text message alerting them that they are next in line.

Sophomore Lindsey Kirkbride elaborated on the long wait times, clarifying that the lines were longer at the beginning of the school year.

“The wait was pretty long, but that was because I went at the beginning of the semester to drop a class,” Kirkbride said.

Berry and Robison both agreed that OneStop can become packed with students during lunch time and during the add/drop period.

In the event that a student becomes busy while waiting for their appointment, they have the option to postpone the meeting for 30 minutes until they are ready.

Junior Ryder Aguila used this option when he was trying to visit OneStop earlier this year. He explained that after a long wait time, he had to push back his appointment.

“If you go at peak times it’s bad,” Aguila said. “I had to wait for two and a half hours by text for a counselor and then had to postpone for 30 minutes because I was busy.”

The International Center has also started using iPads this school year. Similar to OneStop the International Center uses the iPads as a way of keeping track of how many students come in each day, as well as a more efficient way to notify the counselors when their appointment has arrived.

Junior Brian White spoke about his negative experience with the iPads that the new Torero Store was using earlier this semester to help with ordering books.

“The process took too long at the bookstore,” White said. “It is better talking with a person so they can understand what you need.”

OneStop, the International Center, and the Torero Store are all using the new iPads in an effort to increase efficiency and understanding. Despite the mixed reviews from students, USD remains hopeful that the iPad system will ultimately prove to be a success.

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