Oct 032004
 
Authors: Erin Tracy

The Lory Student Center is not only the center of campus, but it

is also a nationally renowned institution.

The CSU student center was ranked among the top student centers

in the United States in the 2004 Educational Benchmarking customer

satisfaction survey results, released last week.

The survey is a way to compare the student center to 53 other

universities’ centers around the country and compile students’

likes and dislikes, said Kris Folsom, student center marketing

director.

“This survey allows us to compare our services, facilities and

programs with colleges and universities nationwide,” Folsom wrote

on the student center’s Web site. “It also gives us the opportunity

to track longitudinal data and measure our improvements

year-to-year.”

Six universities out of the 53 were chosen to be compared to the

CSU student center. Although the names of these six schools cannot

be released, Folsom said the schools were chosen based on the size

of the student center, the university and the amenities offered

that are similar to CSU.

“We want to compare apples to apples as much as possible,”

Folsom said.

Robert Peters, director of business services for the student

center, said 53 schools may not appear to be a large enough number

of schools to be excited about the results, but it is.

“I would venture to say those 53 schools that are in this survey

are the top 53 in the country because they are bothering to do this

(survey),” Peters said.

Peters also said he attributes the number of schools that

participated to the survey’s fee.

Last year the EBI survey cost the student center $1,195.

The student center ranked first in students’ satisfaction with

its eating establishments regarding variety, food prices and

quality. The University Bookstore also ranked second for having a

courteous and available staff.

Folsom attributes the satisfaction of the eating establishments

to the food court renovations that were completed in 2003.

Mike Ellis, executive director for the student center, said he

believes when the next EBI survey is done, the student center’s

numbers will see an increase.

“We think because of all of the recent improvements (the

numbers) will be up,” Ellis said.

He said most of the improvements made in the student center are

from requests made by students.

“We try to be data-driven with all of the services that we are

providing,” Ellis said. “We are really changing because of our

desire to better meet student needs.”

Ellis said the overall EBI results show that the changes that

have been made to the student center are receiving a positive

response from students.

“The renovations that took place last year is a direct result of

the past surveys,” Folsom said.

Ellis said he has almost completed a 20-year master plan of the

student center that will help guide the student center’s future

changes.

Peters said the master plan is to show people “our crystal ball,

built to flex and change with trends and times.”

Ellis said the newest project for the student center is to add a

new entrance on the north side of the building that will include a

Transfort bus center.

The project will start immediately in summer 2005 and will take

about a year to complete.

“The plan helps guide our process then we can change our annual

plans to correspond with this (EBI survey) data,” Peters said.

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