Bullhorn

Front and Center

Students get a consolidated spot for services with 1Capen

a student at 1Capen reception desk

1Capen stylishly streamlines student services. Photo: Douglas Levere

By Sally Jarzab

Pay a bill. Get an ID card. Apply for a parking pass. Meet with an adviser. There’s a lot more to being a student than just heading to class. And it all just got easier with the recent opening of 1Capen, UB’s “one-stop shop” for student services.

Services handled by offices previously scattered across the campus are now centrally located in a welcoming space on the ground floor of Capen Hall, marked by a concierge-style front desk where visitors are greeted. Inside the 17,000-square-foot center, a high-tech queuing system, along with self-service computer kiosks, allows students to efficiently navigate multiple services. The Buffalo Room, an adjoining meeting room that can be reconfigured to accommodate a variety of events, becomes “surge space” during high-demand times for services.

The first day of fall classes alone brought nearly 2,000 people through 1Capen’s door— a retractable, curved glass wall—and, by all accounts, things went smoothly.

The project is the second phase of the UB 2020 initiative known as the “Heart of the Campus,” in which spaces at the center of the academic spine are being rethought and revamped to improve the student experience. Phase one was the renovation of the Silverman Library last year; phase three will bring an expansive global market café to the space between Norton and Capen halls, creating a welcoming new entryway to the campus where people can meet and mingle.

H. Austin Booth, vice provost for University Libraries, told UB’s internal news site that the goal of 1Capen is to focus on the students.

“The students really don’t care about the organizational structure or the administrative structure of UB, nor should they,” she said. “Our mantra is, ‘We will get you what you need when you need it.’”