The UFV Student Union Society (SUS) will be entering into a new partnership this fall with the university’s technical services to offer students a larger range of IT support for their personal devices. The new UFV Information Technology desk will begin supporting student personal devices at the start of this year’s fall semester, and will move into G building after the completion of renovations in mid-October.
SUS’s contract with Geeks Are Us, the previous IT support service funded by student fees paid each semester, ended April 30 of this spring. During the transition period, UFV’s Information Technology Service (ITS) will not be providing support for students personal devices until September 4 of this fall.
“Depending on the year, SUS has typically, at the least, reduced staffing by two-thirds and hours of operation including a period where the operation is shut down,” Gurvir Gill, SUS president, said over email regarding the transition. “This year, it has been necessary to shut down the operation as the contract with the service provider terminated at the end of April and it was necessary to ready the space for renovation by UFV.”
In 2016, 32 requests were submitted between May and August, though Gill notes students may have submitted multiple tickets and thus not been included in this figure.
The agreement will not cost students more, and will add improved technical support services, according to the SUS press release. Both Apple and Windows operating systems will be supported for hardware assistance, software installation, backups and information recovery, and UFV’s ITS will be expanded to include general technical support inquiries.
The new ITS desk will also see expanded hours, operating 40 per cent more than the previous service. Expansion of the team from one full-time staff member to two will also allow for “a suite of services not previously possibly at UFV,” according to the SUS press release.
“With this partnership, we can look into co-ops, and as technology advances, we would confirm with IT additional services to be offered,” Gill said.
SUS’s choice to partner with UFV after the ending of a contract has parallels to the ending of their contract with the Cheam Leisure Centre last year. UFV and SUS partners to provide some of the fitness services available now at the Chilliwack CEP campus.