We should have a subscription to The Hamilton Spectator. Response
It would be amazing if the table (beside the entrance) had a power connection underneath it (attached to the table itself) just like the one at Starbucks. That way you can work and charge your computer at the same time. Response
We should have rotating artwork and current MAPS students' photos on the wall. Response
[put] LED lights in the gloomy hall [of MUSC] to guide lost souls t0 the office. Response
December 2014/January 2015
Have a punch card tab system for members who print frequently, or who regularly purchase Tassimo beverages. Response
Stay like this for a year or two. Keep going the way you have been. This MAPS office is integral to my societal makeup. The staff are great at making me feel at home and to other it makes it very comfortable. Response
Can we have a microwave oven in the MAPS Lounge? Response
Having a worshop to help students learn how to navigate and use Microsoft Office. Response
Have several open houses throughout the term to welcome part-time students. Open house would be great and introduce the MAPS Board, team and services to members, as well as showcase the lounge. Response
Animal therapy for stress relief. Like a MAPS office cat. The SPCA animal visits during exam season always have a line up out the door so it is difficult to spend time with the animials. Response
A code of conduct posted in a prominent place. Response
Why doesn't MAPS have recylcing bins? Response
Support and study sessions (open for all) I think this will be a good way for thpose in the same program to meet and connect. Response
Potluck during holidays / special events.
An indvidual party for MAPS. Something recreational. Response
Frost glass doors for privacy as some students may not be ready to disclose their part-time status. Response
Thanks for your kind words. Its good to hear we are doing the right things in your eyes.
We periodically get the suggestion that a microwave oven in the Lounge would be a good idea. The main issue is that the air exchange for our office is not designed to move air as quickly as in public areas. As a result, the smell of peoples' food would linger for a considerably longer time in the lounge if we had a microwave. Unfortunately, it creates more problems that it solves. More microwaves have been installed in the seating area on the first floor.
There is some stigma associated with the term part-time which we think it inappropriate in an age when more and more people are coming to university. It may be necessary to employ new nouns to convey the idea that students are choosing to take longer to complete their degrees and certificates, not because they aren't capable of doing it full-time, but rather because they have made a deliberate choice.
When MAPS purchased the new colour laser printer, the Board decided that members should have access to high quality, low cost printing. The current rate of 5 cents per page only covers toner, it does not cover the purchase of the machine or maintenance. While providing a free minimum number of copies isn't a bad idea, the devil is in the details. All members contributed, through their fees, to have printer there. Individual members use use it make a small additional contribution for consumables.
We should have ...
We are looking into a subscription to The Hamilton Spectator in print edition and/or electronic format.
A MAPS cat would be amazing - except for members who are alergic to cats. Animal therapy for stress relief is a great idea. We will reach out to the SPCA to see how they organize it on campus and see if we can also offer some days and times.
Our agreement with the MUSC limits what we can or cannot do within our offices. Additionally, we do not think that we could offer the range or quality of options that are already available on the mian level
The artwork presently in the lounge was purchased about 6 years ago during renovations. With the recent upgrades to the office, lounge and meeting area, some of the art needed to be removed.
The idea of having art rotate is good and we would be happy to hear from any one on campus who would like a venue for their (or students' works).
LED lights in the halway would probably attract attention ... for about 15 seconds. The new glass doors, however, have made a huge improvement in our visibilty.
Update: okay, we totally changed our minds and put LED lights up on the bulleting board beside our office and it made a huge difference. We are looking into adding some more.
Having live plants in the office is a good idea; we just need to find someone who is prepared to take care of them. Plants will be included as part of the capital budget going to the Board in June 2015.
Update: Plants - at least the kind that freshen air but can live without direct sunlight, are not easy to come by. We've been working on this and should have something worked out between now and January 2016.
MAPS is looking into allowing members to 'prepay' for printing and other expenses to reduce the amount of small change that we work with and hopefully make things easier for the staff and members. After much consideration, it was felt that a pre-paid card for services would cause a lot of work for the IAs without much benefit to members.
MAPS invested in a number of extension cables that do precisely this. You can now charge your tablet, smartphone, or computer if you are sitting at the desk against the far wall or if you are sitting around the coffee table. If you are working at one of our computers, you can plug your USB powered device to charge it up there as well. The remaining 'dead power' zone is the table by the front doors.
Update: With the office reorganization, there is now power at or near all work surfaces.
MAPS has replaced its main leather rectangular recylcing box with a bright blue box, located between the reception desk and the meeting room.
We have also introduced K-cup recycling so that the Kuerig cups don't head to the landfill.
And we really appreciate you disposing of food items in the bin located just outside our offices on either side of the study area.
MAPS purchased the new glass doors to improve the visibility of the office and as part of a larger objective of destigmatizing the idea that part-time studies are less valuable than full-time studies. Our goal is to increase the number of members who use our office and lounge and reinforce the idea that there is nothing wrong with being a part-time students.
Response to the doors since their installation has been uniformally positive.
We have received suggestions to provide skills development sessions for subjects ranging from Microsoft Office to Avenue2Learn to Mosaic. We think there may be a larger need for skills that employers are looking for, like Project Management, and giving effective presentations. We are looking into partnerships with providers that could get MAPS members access to this sort of programming.
SOLAR was replaced in March 2015 with the new Mosaic Student Registration Module.
Social & Study Activities
We realize that social activities are important and that there are few of them made available for part-time students. MAPS will shortly be recruiting a coordinator who will be responsible for planning social events throughout the year and planning our Annual Awards Dinner.
Providing support and study sessions is a great idea. The new social coordinator and the mentorship coordinator will be asked to work out a plan for September.
Yoga sounds like a great idea and will be passed along to the Social Coordinator for consideration.
We now track when members are coming to the office and lounge and ask about class schedules at the beginning of each term. As a result, Friday hours moved from 2:30 to 4:30.
The Board of Directors has approved policies on the appropriate use of computers and under what circumstances members may be asked to leave the lounge. In all cases, the onus is on our staff to monitor the lounge and step in to avert any inappropriate behaviours. Signs do not correct behaviour, people enforcing acceptable standards will, and your MAPS team is committed to ensuring that our lounge is always a safe place for our members.