ConneX sets sights on student life

Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | ConneX hosted a Carnival Night on the Yard Tuesday evening to introduce itself to the rest of campus. The goal of ConneX is to enhance the student experience on campus in all of the non-academic areas of student life.

Whilst heading into the caf, picking up a textbook from the bookstore or even grabbing a snack from a vending machine, students may notice a funny little logo — a mass of blue, magenta and orange that looks almost like three people joining together. From one angle, it appears to be a weird-looking triangle, but from another, it seems to resemble an “X.” This logo, however it may be interpreted, represents ConneX, a newly formed extension of the Office of Auxiliary Services.

ConneX Marketing Director Jennifer Paiotti describes it as a “Xavier community partner hub” whose goal is “to better the student experience so that you can live and grow and enjoy life on campus.” She likens it to Tide, a brand that is an extension of its parent company P&G but not a replacement.

The name “ConneX” originates from the word “connect” and has to do with the idea of creating connections across campus, a nod to its goal of bettering a student’s experience.

The name also includes a capital “X” to signify that it is indeed part of Xavier University, but Paiotti adds that it also comes from pirate tales; much as an “X” marks the spot of buried booty on treasure maps, so too does an “X” mark the spot where one might find the many treasures of ConneX on campus.

Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | Senior Zach Lynette uses the new printing station in Alter Hall. ConneX is responsible for all X-Cash services, including printing, vending, parking and laundry on campus. ConneX is an extension of Auxiliary Services.

“I think it speaks to that light energy — it’s a student energy, and we love the X here,” Paiotti said. “Has it been there, has it been used many, many times? Of course. Does it get old? Not if you’re a Xavier person, it doesn’t get old. You try to use it any way, shape or form.”

The process of constructing ConneX began about a year and a half ago with the decision to create a marketing department for the Office of Auxiliary Services. The decision centered around an effort to think more about the experience of those services, which encompass 14 different departments and 22 revenue streams, from a student’s perspective.

According to Paiotti, that effort brought to light much of the confusion and frustration students faced when trying to resolve a problem or even ask a question. For example, students with questions about their meal plans often began with the Hoff Dining Commons, but Auxiliary Services ultimately handled the matter. Even though students would be referred to the proper office, according to Paiotti, many still felt like their needs were not fully met.

“Typically, you would go, ‘I’ve asked so-and-so about this, and I’m not getting a response.’ Well, before all of this started a year and a half ago, I would have completely agreed with that,” Paiotti said. “Things were getting dropped, communications were getting lost, students were feeling that their voice wasn’t being heard, and that’s what we really tried to change, starting that transition.”

Newswire photo by Sydney Sanders | Ellie (left) and seniors Logan Hofrichter (center) and Jared Karban (right) at ConneX Carnival Night on the Yard.

“That transition” of which Paiotti speaks is one to more effective and streamlined communications with students. ConneX seeks to present information in a more transparent way so as to provide the campus with a central location to turn to with questions or suggestions.

Paiotti believes that the rollout of the new extension also allows students to know that their voices are being heard. She cites the Fall Dining Survey, which results in the review of a 500-page document, as one example of the efforts the team undertakes to better the experience of students, faculty and staff on campus.

Furthermore, in addition to the dining surveys, a mid-term goal is to develop feedback for the other services handled by ConneX through another survey in the spring.

Ultimately, Paiotti explains that the long-term goal of ConneX is to continue to improve the experience of being at Xavier University through managing various partnerships and bringing students “the best of the best.”

“The goal was that…we all have one common area to speak through, one voice,” Paiotti said. “And that’s really what the university is about, is everyone speaking with that voice, that one voice. You know that if you are here on campus, and it has to do with Xavier’s food, or Xavier’s banking, or Xavier’s bookstore, you know I go from one spot.”

By: Ellen Seifke ~Managing Editor~