Need a space?
Click on the SOURCE
‘One-stop’ online system allows users to reserve spaces across Grounds for events
Photo by Dan Addison
|Leanoard Sandridge speaks at the Sept. 13 unveiling of SOURCE.
By Brevy Cannon
Making space reservation requests for events and meetings just got much easier, thanks to the newly created online SOURCE (System of University Reservations and Calendar of Events), available at http://www.virginia.edu/source.
With just a few clicks and keystrokes, faculty, staff and students can view availability of spaces and either request a specific space or a suitable space based on needs. Since data are centrally warehoused, there is no delay in checking the availability of a space. The system permits viewing of all events, academic and nonacademic, in a particular room or space so users will know instantly if a space is available before requesting it. Once a scheduler has approved the request, users will receive a confirmation notice.
For new users there is a help page to walk them through the few simple steps. During the reservation process, after they choose a particular space and date, they see a calendar grid showing when the space is booked throughout the day or week, so that they can adjust their request accordingly.
The detailed request form will further expedite the reservation process by reducing back-and-forth communication between the requestor and scheduler for events or meetings with special equipment or staffing needs. For example, when making a request users can indicate if they need audio-visual equipment or special services, such as catering or technical support, and won’t have to contact a number of offices to arrange their event needs. When events are approved, notification of these special needs will be communicated through the system to the appropriate persons and offices.
There are currently 684 reservable spaces in the SOURCE system, including classrooms, meeting rooms, auditoriums and outdoor spaces. The SOURCE includes pictures of about 400 of those rooms. The SOURCE does not include spaces that are not reservable by the general University community, such as research spaces, departmental conference rooms and housing.
Users clearly appreciate the convenience of this “one-stop shopping” reservation system. The system has received 1.2 million hits since going online July 27. More than 1,000 members of the U.Va. community have already created a SOURCE account, the first step to reserving a space, and over 10,500 events have been scheduled.
Since the system is available 24/7, users don’t have to try and catch schedulers during normal business hours. The highest usage of the system has been from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. The schedulers for Newcomb Hall routinely arrive to work in the morning with 30 to 50 new requests received overnight, and on Monday morning the average is closer to 100, according to Reservations Manager Stephanie Nixon. Presumably students are making most of the requests after business hours, showing how quickly they have started using the system. Every SOURCE request is immediately routed to the appropriate scheduling administrator who makes the final decision to either accept a request, suggest an alternative site, refer the request to another division that might have a space, or reject the request as an inappropriate use of a U.Va. space.
The comprehensiveness of the system allows schedulers to automate some processes. Service providers like the University police, ITC classroom support and facilities management can use the Webviewer to schedule services and to create customized reports of services requested. SOURCE data will provide University administrators information about space usage and contribute to strategic University space planning. “As the number of classes, meetings and events continue to increase, the SOURCE will be vital in the successful management of the University’s space and related resources,” said Sarah Collie, assistant vice president for management and budget.
The SOURCE replaces the interim system known as COMPASS (Catalog of Meeting Places and Student Spaces), and plans for expanding the SOURCE are currently under way.
The system implementation is being led by staff in the offices of the University Registrar, Newcomb Hall, Intramural-Recreational Sports and Information Technology and Communication. Carol Stanley, University Registrar, serves as the Project Sponsor, with the Student Enrollment Services Process Owners’ Group overseeing the effort. Many individuals across Grounds have contributed to the development and implementation of the system, which was organized and initiated by Process Simplification, an initiative of the Office of the Vice President for Management and Budget. The implementation team co-leaders were Lindsay Kidd of ITC and Jeff Wolford of the Registrar’s office.
“The collaborative efforts of the SOURCE project team have yielded a new system to serve the space scheduling needs of students, faculty, staff and friends,” said Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “SOURCE is a prime example of making maximum use of University resources for the benefit of all. Everyone should take full advantage of this valuable new tool.”
Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, added, “The SOURCE is one of our largest Process Simplification projects to date and exemplifies the core principles of process improvement. The work of Process Simplification contributes to our overall institutional effectiveness through collaborative, innovative change efforts.”