Today: Mar 03, 2024

New online partnership to improve campus quality

http://www.southernct.edu/facilities/seeclickfix/MELISSA CHICKER — News Writer 

Southern Connecticut State University has announced a new partnership with SeeClickFix to improve the physical environment of Southern’s campus. 

The company, located in New Haven, allows anyone to report and track non-emergency issues anywhere in the world by email, Facebook and smart phones (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) for free. Southern is the first university to partner with the company. 

“Since our launch a few years ago, we’ve partnered with countless cities, media outlets and community groups nationwide and overseas,” said Ben Berkowitz, SeeClickFix CEO, in a recent press release. “Now, that list has expanded to include academic institutions thanks to SCSU. We look forward to seeing how our online technology helps create offline results.”

The university’s role in the project is for students, staff and facility to report on campus problems. These can range from broken windows and glass to damaged sidewalks and graffiti—all which can be reported in a quick and simple manner. The facilities department will then acknowledge the problem and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

“We want people to know that once they report something that we did something about it by checking in to let them know we took care of the problem,” said Robert J. Sheeley, associate 

vice president for capital budgeting and facilities operations, who introduced the idea of partnering Southern with SeeClickFix.

Shelley happened to see it advertised throughout the city of New Haven and thought it would be a good program for Southern. He said he believes this will help the Southern community to speak up, especially students, in reporting things that need repair and will ultimately lead to a safer and more secure campus.

“It’s always our agenda to put our best foot forward and everything we do is going to improve the university,” said Sheeley. “We see this as one program that will help us.” 

Once someone submits an issue, the reporter and those responsible for fixing the problem will receive an email notification. The facilities department can then acknowledge the service request and update the issue on its website once it’s been resolved. Students can also track the problem as it gets fixed and can get a status update of what has been done with their reports.

“We have figured that the more eyes available on the campus then the safer we can be here,” said Thomas Struble, coordinator of property/inventory/stores/receiving, who will administrate the program. “We encourage anyone when they see anything report it—no matter if it’s a student or facility member—because if we don’t know about it then we can’t respond to it.”

Southern has its own “watch area” to receive notifications about where the problem has accrued through GPS and allows others to follow the progress of all service requests. Those who report a problem can also take pictures on their smartphone of the damage to send in, along with a report in order for the facilities department to know how severe the issue is.

Reports can only deal with external issues on campus, ranging from road and parking lot issues, campus sidewalk issues, outdoor and indoor lighting, public bathrooms, broken windows and glass and broken down doors. Dorm rooms and academic buildings are not a part of the partnership and will abide by the original work-order system where students fill out the same forms for any dorm room repairs as they have in the past.

According to Struble, only one report has been filed since SeeClickFix went live at Southern on July 1. With the start of the new semester he said he hopes that students will take full advantage of the new system.

“Five or six years ago this would not have been successful, but now with the birth of smart phones it has become a very practical cause,” said Struble.

The SeeClickFix mobile applications and more information about how to report a problem can be found on the Facilities Operations main page on SCSU’s website.

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