Students made to wait

By Gus Bode

Offices closed during lunch at SIUC

Daryl Wall, an incoming student, wasn’t sure what to expect when he arrived at the College of Business and Administration Offices a half hour early for his appointment.

What he found was a closed office-doors locked and lights off.


Wall, who drove to Carbondale from Sesser to register for fall classes, was surprised, but what he encountered was not uncommon at SIUC.

From noon to 1 p.m., campus offices close their doors while office workers eat lunch, leaving students who have only their own lunch hour to handle their University affairs out of luck, according to a report from the Agility and Efficiency Taskforce.

The taskforce, created by Chancellor Walter Wendler, is comprised of campus members selected by the administration. They poll students and faculty members to determine what SIUC’s biggest problems are. The taskforce’s findings were distributed to the faculty senate on Monday.

“We can’t close campus down at lunch time,” Wendler said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

The College of Business and Administration’s office is not the only one closed during the lunch break. Staff at the offices of the College of Science and the law school also said their offices are closed between noon and 1 p.m. The offices of the Marekting Department and the School of Journalism were among the many offices closed during that hour.

Some offices, such as the Research and Graduate Dean’s Office, are open but staffed only by student workers.

The task force also found that students and parents are often frustrated with the way phone calls are answered or transferred.


The University does not have a policy requiring training employees in proper phone etiquette, said University Spokeswomen Sue Davis.

“That is essentially across the board department subjective,” Davis said. “There wouldn’t be a need for standardized learning.”

Kathy Blackwell, Director of Human Resources, said she is unaware of phone etiquette training procedures being implemented on campus. She said the amount and type of training depends on the department.

The person answering the phone for New Student Programs said she was too busy to talk and to call the department back later before she hung up the telephone.

However, those answering the phone in other departments, like student worker Kaela Powley at the Recreation Center, had time to talk and answer questions.

Powley said although she receives all incoming phone calls to the recreation center, she received no phone etiquette training, but was briefly trained on how to use the phone system.

Reporter destiny Remezas can be reached at [email protected]