When I first arrived at MSU, I thought the Ask Us Desk was just a worthless information booth for visitors that also sold tickets to concerts. Actually, the Ask Us Desk can almost be seen as a concierge service for all students. Go there with any question, or with anything that might be needed, and the Ask Us Desk will be happy to do it, or at least explain how. The best part? It’s all free.
In a time of the internet, one would hardly think an actual human being answering questions easily solved by Google is an appropriate use of ASMSU funds. I myself have wondered the same question. Why would one pay someone to compete with the internet? Plus, unlike Google, one has to be wearing pants to use the Ask Us Desk, so it’s a real shocker that they are still operating. As it turns out, the sacrifice of leaving home to visit the Ask Us Desk is worth it: they do way more than be the university’s Google, and they are also the face of our university. They are the students first point of contact if they need anything. Forgot where that meeting was in the SUB? Just ask them. Want to know how to get a meeting with President Cruzado? Away to the Ask Us Desk you go! Left your chemistry flash cards on top of your car and drove away to let them flutter about in the parking lot? Chances are someone picked them up and they are now at the Ask Us Desk (side note: I’ve done that before, the picking up of the cards, that is).
Let’s say you’re the proud president of your new club “Unaware Students,” and as if to prove a point, you have no idea how to reserve the ballrooms for your convention on learning, the “Detectable Outrageous Round-table Kinesthetic,” or if you can even reserve the ballrooms. Instead of sending emails to random people hoping you can find the right person, all you have to do is go to the Ask Us Desk, and they will help you reserve the rooms.
Let’s say you are a responsible citizen and you are trying to vote by absentee ballot in your home state. The Ask Us Desk can fax that ballot for less than a dollar, and you don’t even have to leave campus.
Let’s say you are selling your longboard because it’s time people took you seriously. The Ask Us Desk has an advertising board (no, a cork-poster board) where you can advertise the sale for only fifty cents.
Let’s say you just bought a longboard from one of those 3-by-5 cards in the SUB and the previous owner was not very responsible about upkeep. The Ask Us Desk can point you to a good board shop in town, and even directions on how to get there.
The Ask Us Desk is just all around the go-to place for help. For example, once I needed to get the keys to my roommates car. Our schedules were such that there was no time to meet up and exchange keys. My roomate left them at the Ask Us Desk with my name, and I was able to pick them up later! Sure, limitation exist. For instance one would actually have to talk to someone and the Ask Us Desk’s brick and mortar business plan means they can’t be accessed from the comfort of a personal computer, but I think it is worthwhile to look past all of that and just go use the Ask Us Desk.