If you stumble around the halls of Seattle Central long enough, you will likely find yourself in need of the services at Information Central. It has become a destination for guidance by new and old students alike. Information Central is the school’s main help desk, located in BE1105. It’s just a short walk from the building’s main entrance and open most weekdays 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. However, in the first two weeks of every school quarter, they’re open until 6:30 PM Monday through Thursday, and close at their usual time Friday. Since they facilitate the school’s New Student Orientations, they are the first line of defense for those adrift in the entanglement of enrollment and education plans. They’re available for finding directions, resources, and support in the school environment.
There are some things, however, that students new and old may not know about Information Central. Starting out in 2011, they had no phones or computers. All they had was a simple table, much like the ones lining the halls now, parked directly next to the main Broadway Edison entrance. Rebecca “Becca” Leslie, who joined Information Central in 2012, comments that they frequently wore parkas and brought blankets in the wintertime due to the constant exposure to the cold. Since then, they’ve acted like a glue, holding the school’s various committees – and its student body – together without much fanfare. Much of their repertoire of services comes from simply observing a need. “Everything at Info Central was created because a group of students saw a need, and Info Central stated: that needs to be fixed!” states Leslie.
Information Central, at its core, is a Swiss army knife: a multi-tool for students and faculty, far more capable than just pointing you in the direction of your English class. They facilitate conversations between other divisions and boards, maintaining everyone’s office hours and up-to-date contact information. When it comes to the posters you see across campus, as well as the boards open for free posting, they’re the ones in charge of maintaining them and giving each section its proper purpose to reduce visual clutter. They also reduce impacts on other divisions, such as being the eyes and ears for school security and help with very basic IT tasks such as logging into Canvas. Enrollment is their bread and butter: their enrollment navigation teams are there to assist in the hurdles of higher education enrollment. “We’re here to help you break down the wall you keep hitting while navigating the system,” Becca Leslie tells of the enrollment navigators. The staff and volunteers alike function like “a human switchboard,” determined to connect people with the proper resources: “It never hurts to ask!” says Leslie. For this reason, ambassadors are encouraged to get to know the area around them, even other Seattle Colleges – despite it not being mandatory, further cementing their “above and beyond” beliefs.
This year, Information Central will be going back to its roots. Armed with many more resources than just pointing on maps, the school will be setting up a brand-new Welcome Desk at the main Broadway Edison building entrance. This will coincide with the keycard system discussed in previous articles and help to bolster security as well, giving even more sets of eyes and ears to monitor the comings and goings of the main entrance. The main goal, however, is to provide answers to quick questions – “where’s the cafeteria?” and such – and reduce workloads on both security and the main Information Central office, which will remain where it is. If questions cannot be answered there or require more depth of resources and time put into them, they will be directed to the main office.
Information Central has a Facebook page with regular updates, and frequently posts on the Seattle Central app. They can also be contacted via email at Info.Central@seattlecolleges.edu or by office phone at 206.934.4030. As always, they are also just a short walk away from the main entrance for in-person visits – and always eager to help.