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FixIT reduces hours and staff for summer semester, reopens next week for service

“At the SUS’s annual general meeting, concerns were voiced about the summer operating hours of FixIt, a technical support centre for computers, phones, and other equipment. Initially, employees of FixIT were told that the service would be closed for the summer.”

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By Vanessa Broadbent (The Cascade) – Email

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For summer semester students, limited hours around campus are a reality due to lower enrollment — most, including the library and the Student Union Building, shut down by 7:30 p.m.

At one of the Student Union Society’s newer services, summer plans are being reworked to fit with demand.

At the SUS’s annual general meeting, concerns were voiced about the summer operating hours of FixIt, a technical support centre for computers, phones, and other equipment.

Initially, employees of FixIT were told that the service would be closed for the summer.

“We’re telling everyone that we’re closed April 22 and will not be open until the fall,” said Erica Jennings, a student employee at FixIT. “I don’t think that’s right, since we’re charging students a set fee for FixIT and we’re supposed to be fixing and repairing their computers …We’re charging someone and we’re basically taking their money without giving them the service.”

Thomas Davies, SUS president at the time, responded by saying that the issue was something he’d “have to look into.”

“I can’t give specific staffing levels, but my understanding is that the service is supposed to be operational during the summer,” he said. “The traffic, I do expect to be lower which is why I do expect lower opening hours, but my understanding is that the service is supposed to be operational.”

“The student at the AGM was misinformed,” current president Sukhi Brar writes in an email. “FixIT is open to students during the summer semester.”

A sign posted in the window of the FixIT office window, located on the top floor of the SUB, states that the service will re-open with reduced operating hours on May 16. Summer hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with only one employee on staff, a non-student hire. As well, any equipment currently dropped off for the service will not be retrievable until May 16.

FixIT is described on SUS’ website as “a free service for Student Union Society members.” However, while students do not have to pay when they use the service, they are charged $4.98 every semester for its operations, separate from the standard Student Union Society fee.

While the 2016-17 FixIT budget is not yet available, in 2015-16, revenue from the student fee was $107,568, of which $85,662.16 was allocated for employment.

While FixIT will be operating without student employees for the now, Brar notes that this will change should business increase.

“Due to the reduced traffic on campus during the summer term, it would be inefficient and irresponsible to hire additional student staff when it isn’t required to deliver services at FixIT,” she writes. “If at any point there is an influx in demand for FixIT during the summer that our permanent staff member is unable to accommodate, UFV students will be hired to support the service.”

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