OtterFAQs Desk

By Fabiola Pineda-Nguyen
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The first day in a new school can be challenging for many students. Some can feel lost because they do not know the resources that the school offers for them to help them in their new journey. Happily, California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has thought about the new challenges a freshman and even though senior students can experience while they are attending to the university.

Dean Frank M. Wojcik and staff volunteers from the following areas; First Year Seminar, Cooperative Learning Center, Provost Office, Library, Communication across the Disciplines, Students Affairs, Academic Senate, President’s Office and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC), had joined to “create a welcoming information service point on the library’s main floor that will connect students with the services and expertise they need to be successful at CSUMB,” as stated by Wojcik.

The name of this information desk is called “OtterFAQs Desk”. It was launch on February 26, as a “service pilot”. The Dean Wojcik called it a “soft” opening. It is located at the library main floor near the Research Help Desk. The OtterFAQs has limited hours for Spring 2018 semester; Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Due to a small number of students take summer classes, the OtterFAQs Desk will be closed during Summer session but will be open during the first day of Fall semester. In addition, Dean Mojcik mentioned that the OtterFAQs Desk is not going to be open on Friday’s now, but this could be change in the future.

The main objectives for this OtterFAQs Desk, according to Dean Frank M. Wojcik, to help immediately the students with any question they have from any department at CSUMB and/or make an immediate referral to the appropriate service or expertise and to gather input and data to help inform future development of the services.

Any CSUMB student can request help at the OtterFAQs Desk in person, face-to-face, by phone (831) 582-FAQS (3277), via email at otterfaqs@csumb.edu and a future web page with chat is coming. In addition, CSUMB provides support services and accessible terminals  for students with disabilities and the OtterFAQs Desk will guide you with the necessary information to be successful at CSUMB.

During my interview with Dean Wojcik, he mentioned that the people at the OtteerFAQs Desk are Staff Volunteers from the areas listed above. The Administrative Assistant to the Provost; Hayley Azevedo, is the person in charge to schedule one or two Staff Volunteers and they help students at the OtterFAQs Desk for one or two hours. Dean Wojcik, said that there is an open possibility in the future for students to work at the OtterFAQs Desk but is not been decided yet.

Overall, OtterFAQs Desk will be an immediate information tool for freshman, sophomore and senior students at CSUMB. Any question will be answer now from a Staff Volunteer and/or make an immediate referral to the correct service. Because school can be frightening, specially the first day but remember you are not alone, you have OtterFAQs Desk as a great information tool.

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