This week, Bowdoin Information Technology (IT) launched new drop-in hours as a way to facilitate open communication with students and faculty.
The drop-in hours started on Tuesday behind the desk in Smith Union with Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Michael Cato.
“We hope to learn more about how community members are experiencing the services and tools IT provides, answer questions about the reasoning behind them and connect those who need it with tech support,” Cato wrote in an email to the Bowdoin community.
Cato looks forward to engaging with the campus body through these drop in hours and hopes that in-person conversations will enable the IT department to be more responsive to the students’ needs.
“We have realized more this semester that our historical approaches to communicate with campus aren’t working as well as we need them to,” Cato wrote. “Too often, updates and information that are shared by email still come as a surprise to too many people on campus.”
Cato explained that, although he has previously had opportunities to interact with students, it has often been in more formal situations such as during College Committees or when talking with IT student workers. He hopes that the casual nature of drop-in hours will allow students to interact with him in a more informal way.
In addition to promoting the approachability of IT, the drop-in hours program seeks to familiarize students with staff across multiple roles and departments within IT. On Thursday, students had the opportunity to talk with Senior Director of Enterprise Systems Andy Birenzi and Senior Director and Chief Information Security Officer Eric Berube as a first step in facilitating these connections.
The IT department intends to continue hosting drop-in hours until winter break and will reconvene in the spring semester to determine how the services will be organized for the rest of the year.