Orientation brings traffic to the Flawn Academic Center during the summer

By Valeria Lopez De Vergara

While the Flawn Academic Center is a crowded place to study during the school year, over the summer its popularity reaches new heights for a different reason.

During the summer, since early in the morning, the FAC facilities begin to fill up with new students attending orientation. The process of registering for classes and getting their UT ID’s, as well as most orientation activities are held in this building.

“During orientation it is insane, the environment is louder, and people are much crazier. Alexis Nelson, staff at the ID Center, said that she feels that there’s more productivity during the full semesters because once everybody is settled in, they kind of know what they are doing in here. “If you have the freshmen coming in during orientation, it is just crazy, nobody knows where to go, everybody is confused, so our jobs are a little bit harder during the summer”.

According to Jeremy West, manager at the Campus Computer Store, 95 percent of the computer store staff stays around during the summer, which brings business. “Sales don’t change very much during the summer semester, in fact, traffic from orientation is great for them since they try to let the parents of incoming students know that they are the most affordable place for students to buy a device.

During full semesters, the primary student purposes of the FAC include the study area, ID Center, UT Service Desk, general purpose classrooms, and Student Services. During the summer, the FAC lobby area becomes a hub of activity for summer orientation activities, ID Cards are issued to incoming students, registration activities for various departments take place, as well as providing incoming student support from Service Desk and Student Success Initiatives.

According to Jo Sherman, the FAC Building Manager and Senior Administrative Associate, more than 8,000 new ID cards are issued prior to the start of the fall semester.

“10 additional summer student workers are hired to help handle the additional load,” Sherman said.

For some students like Mariadela Villegas and Gabriela Susano, the feeling of it being so open, and not being lonely are some of the reasons why they enjoy studying at the FAC.

“Even though it does get loud with people during both the summer and the spring and fall semesters, I prefer to be at a place where it is loud rather than a place where I am alone and it is all quiet because I can get distracted very easily. Also, if there is a lot of people around I feel more pressured to do stuff” Mariadela Villegas said.