Sussan Castro Vivanco and Susanna Sundström, information administrators, answers any question that can arise during your studies, and are happy to help you further if necessary.
“We welcome all types of questions and will not leave any question unanswered, but sometimes we need to look things up first,” explains Susanna Sundström, information administrator.
Together with ten or so colleagues, she is keen to provide information and service to students, staff and visitors to Umeå University. Some choose to pay us a visit, but you can also contact Infocenter by phone, email or through a contact form found on umu.se/en.
At the start of the new semester, Infocenter is bustling with questions about where to find schedules, how to register for a course, and not least: how to find accommodation.
“When we receive urgent housing questions, we nowadays refer students to the housing coordination, Akutrumsförmedlingen, on akutrum.nu, which is run by the student unions,” says Susanna Sundström.
Infocenter goes under the slogan ‘one way in’, which means that regardless of who is asking and what it concerns, all questions asked will receive an answer. Around 60–70 per cent of all questions are answered immediately, other questions are forwarded to staff at the department or office best suited to answer.
Know-alls and detectives
Infocenter helps national and international students before, during and after their studies with particular focus on their academic queries. Staying updated about new events is an important part of the workday, and Infocenter staff uses a multitude of checklists that need to be kept updated.
“We know quite well what types of questions arise at different times of the year, as questions follow the semester cycle. That gives us a chance to be prepared,” says Susanna Sundström.
Staff at Infocenter sometimes calls the office “a detective agency”, and the fact is, some truth lies behind that internal nickname. Some questions indeed take a bit of detective work due to the policy of leaving no question unanswered.
“Among the staff at Infocenter, there are certain areas where someone always knows a bit more than the rest, about the Umu card* or booking premises, for instance. But everyone needs to be a know-all and detective,” says Helena Moliis, information administrator.
(*The Umu card is an access card, copy card and library card that all students get.)
Maybe you have already spoken to one of the Infocenter members of staff. They work in ten or so systems, one being the University’s phone switchboard. From the left Ginny Jonsson, Susanna Sundström and Ingela Berglund.
Good reception and humanity
Sometimes Infocenter receive somewhat more unusual questions.
“Once, a person called with a long list of questions regarding an author. Sometimes people ask if they can donate their bodies to research, or someone has seen a media news coverage and want to get in touch with specialists in that field,” says Helena Moliis.
It is not just students asking questions.
“Concerned parents also get in touch, their child might have moved out of home to a town far north and this can result in a few questions,” says Helena Moliis.
Staff are used to approaching both students and their worried loved ones and Infocenter can, if needed, help them get in touch with the Student Health Service.
A word that Susanna Sundström and Helena Moliis find characteristic to their approach is “humanity”.
“No question or query is silly, wrong or too small, you’re always welcome,” says Susanna Sundström.
Below follows some examples of what you can get help with from Infocenter in Universum
• Study-related questions, such as where to find your schedule or premises. • University-branded products. • Student locker rentals. • Umu card queries.
• Infocenter opened in September 2014.
• About 100,000 questions are answered annually via contact form, email and phone.
• Around 40,000 people visit Infocenter every year.