Administrative offices trade places around campus

The new Student Activities Center (SAC) that opened  Monday is not the only change that students will encounter this semester.

Several offices and services are moving to new locations throughout the University.

The Parking and Transportation office moved to the McKnight Building Suite 100 on Ponce de Leon Boulevard. All parking-related services and Cane Cards will be issued at this location.

“The move is part of an overall University push toward consolidated services,” said Richard Sobaram, director of Parking and Transportation.

One of these consolidated services is the department’s role in issuing Cane Cards that were once given at Allen Hall. Parking assumed the responsibility last spring and has since helped new students, faculty and staff get their required items in one place.

“Vendors, students and staff all need parking and ID cards,” Sobaram said.

Sobaram does not know the fate of the former parking office at the Flipse Building. Next door, however, UMPD and emergency services will work together as an emergency management department. Emergency services is responsible for alerting students about severe weather and on-campus crimes.

The new parking office can be reached using the fountain shuttle route and stopping at the shuttle stop on Brescia street near the University Village and baseball field. Limited short-term parking is also available in a lot behind the McKnight Building.

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The Toppel Career Center is also planning a move scheduled some time this fall, said Christian Garcia, executive director for Toppel. It will take the place of the former Writing Center that was located near Pavia Garage. The Writing Center moved last spring to the La Gorce House near the Hecht and Stanford residential colleges.

Toppel began renovating the building last December. The construction will make Toppel’s new location twice the size of its original space and equipped with the latest technology such as video conferencing and lecture capture that will allow students to view company information sessions online if they were not able to attend.

“With these two types of technologies, the goal is to continue to provide our services without allowing geography to be a roadblock,” Garcia said.

Though Toppel is moving to a slightly farther location from the student center area that includes the SAC and University Center (UC), students do not seem to mind the move.

“The distance is not really an issue,” senior Jordan Schuman said. “Toppel has a good online presence, so I have never really had to go in person.”

Schuman emailed her resume to Toppel and was given feedback completely online.

Another added feature will be interview labs that will record students in mock interviews. Toppel advisers will then give immediate feedback on students’ performance and send them a personalized link of the video for further practice.

Toppel’s current location will soon house the Office of Admissions that is currently in the Ashe Building.

The Study Abroad office, along with International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS), moved from its previous space at Allen Hall to Student Services near the financial aid office. Study Abroad will remain there temporarily with the goal of moving to a different space, said Judith Pennywell, assistant provost for international affairs.

“I am pleased to have both units under the same roof physically, and as we work together to off international, cross-cultural and educational experiences for all UM students,” she said.