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April 1, 2008

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School of Communication

A moving experience

By Mark Katzbach

Spring break, for most people, is a time for relaxation and an opportunity to get away from the stresses of day-to-day life for a week. For me, spring break was quite the opposite.

From UC to MC
As most of you are aware, spring break was utilized to move all remaining offices from the University Center that closed on March 17. Most of these were moved to the renovated Main Classroom’s first floor.
Most services are up and running, including Campus 411, the campus bursar, Campus Connection Lounge and Mobile Campus in their new location. This is where I came in. I have been working at Mobile Campus since the beginning of 2006. I was there when they expanded the backroom and remodeled the front. I watched many people fall down the stairs to our left almost breaking our laptops and their ankles. I had watched many storms roll in and out of downtown from our office in the UC, also known as the Cage. Our time had come, we were moving and I was asked to assist. As a student who could use the extra cash, I accepted.

No locks on the doors?
Packing was quick and simple. The complications didn’t start until Wednesday when we found out the new Mobile Campus location did not yet have locks in the doors. It pushed back our scheduled move on Thursday. Dan Mortimer, manager of Help Desk and Student Computing Services, arranged to phone us on Friday around noon to let us know if we should come in and start moving, or wait until Saturday. We ended up taking Friday off because the locks were not put in until Friday afternoon.
On Saturday, Janet Bassi, Steve Cieslewicz and I arrived at 8:30 in the morning. We had been promised a cart and dolly to aid in our move. However, somebody had accidentally returned those accouterments to the duplicating department in the Rhodes Tower basement the day before, and there was nobody working that day to unlock the room for us. We were left with Steve’s dolly he brought from home. After several trips working with the dolly, and one of our office chairs to move boxes, we knew we would need something larger if we were to move all 250 laptops and our bigger office equipment before the end of the day.
Late in the morning, one of the construction workers arrived and installed the shelves we needed for the laptops. This was a relief to us as we were not sure until this point where to place the machines. Once the shelves were in, we were able to stack the laptops on them as Steve wired up the power strips and charging cords for each machine.
Steve found a pallet jack in the unfinished section of the Main Classroom first floor. He loaded an empty pallet on it and we utilized it for the move. We managed to make do with what we had and proceeded to move the boxes, filing cabinets, laptops and office computers across the plaza to the new location. The exertion coupled with the warm, morning sun had us sweating until lunch.

Looking back
We spent our lunch hour reminiscing on the old location and the events we had witnessed in the UC. From welcome back events to chili cook-offs to Springfest, the UC housed them all. There would be no more event coordinators offering us plates of food. On the positive side, there would be no more loud music. No more drum circles, dances or ceremonies with large crowds of people milling about the atrium.

Saying Good-bye
As the afternoon wore on, we finished moving everything to the new location. We took one last look at the old location, wrote our goodbyes on the walls, and locked it for the last time. It was a bittersweet departure from our old office. The entire history of the Mobile Campus had happened within those walls. However, we won’t miss the noisy atrium events that made it difficult to do business. The new location is quieter, but there are no windows visible from where I sit at the counter, making it feel like noon all day. It takes some getting used to.
For the rest of the day, we concentrated on setting up and putting everything away. The afternoon had turned overcast and cold, as there was no heat at the new location. By about 5 p.m., we had everything put away in our new cabinets and drawers, the computers hooked up and ready on the counter and the laptops put up on the shelves, with a number of them plugged in and charging. The temperature inside had dropped below 60, but our task was done.
Our Saturday was gone and we were exhausted, but Mobile Campus was ready to open on Monday morning.

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