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At the end of the semester, the ITS Service Desk will consolidate walk-in support locations. December 21, 2023, will be the last day for in-person tech support at the ITS Service Desk location on the lower level of the R.B. House Undergraduate Library (UL).

The new location in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union will become the home of the Service Desk. The space is open Monday through Friday for Tar Heels who need in-person tech help.

The lobby of the walk-in at the Student Union. There's a check-in kiosk in the center of the space surrounded by seating. In the distance, you can see the bright mural on the back wall of the space and students working in cubicles around the corner
The new walk-in location in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union will be the home of the Service Desk

Members of the Carolina community can also reach the Service Desk by calling 919-962-HELP (4357) or by using the online Help Portal. The Help Portal offers live chat between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Users can submit help requests or search for answers 24/7.

Traffic warrants just one location

“This decision to close the UL location was not made lightly,” said Calvin Groves, Director of the Service Desk. Foot traffic hasn’t shown a need for two client-facing locations, especially so close to each other, he said.

When the Service Desk first opened the second walk-in, Groves and his team knew they would track the number of customers of the two locations and assess the long-term needs. Now, “after operating two locations since the beginning of the summer, it has become clear to us that only one walk-in location is needed,” he said.

That doesn’t mean the spaces haven’t been busy. So far this fiscal year, the Service Desk has had more than 6,000 walk-in interactions between both locations. Just over 1,000 of those interactions were during New Student and Family Orientation, which was also the soft launch for the Student Union location.

The new Union space was the natural choice to be the sole walk-in location. “It’s where students are,” said Groves. Service Desk walk-in is primarily geared towards students but serves all members of the Carolina community.

The Union location’s wall of windows, bright colors, bold mural and open floor plan make the space modern and inviting for student visitors and staff alike. “Everyone wants to work over here,” said Patrick Kiernan, Service Desk Team Lead for Walk-in Services.

Service Desk continues to evolve

Moving away from the UL will be bittersweet for some Service Desk staffers. The UL has “been a great home” for the Service Desk for more than 20 years, Groves said.

In 2022, current and former Service Desk staff reflected on the 20th anniversary of the move to the UL from Louis Round Wilson Library. Chris Williams, Student Affairs IT Director and former Service Desk staffer, shared a comment that is as relevant to this move as it was the one in 2002. “I’d say the biggest change to the Service Desk over the years, other than location,” he said, “is how it has continued to evolve as its customers have.”

A view of the lobby of the Service Desk's UL walk-in location
A view of the Service Desk’s UL location in 2023. The space was renovated in 2020

For the Service Desk, the moves this year and in 2002 were of location, but also an evolution as the recognizable “face” of ITS. In 2002, with its more centralized location and open floor plan, the Service Desk saw its interaction with the campus community grow in proportion to its staff’s size, internal collaboration and knowledge.

A student hands her One Card to a seated ITS staffer, who is sitting in front of a large computer
A view of the Service Desk in 1998, before the move to the Undergraduate Library
Two students sit in front of beige desktop computers. A Service Desk employee hands over a floppy disk
The technology and location have changed since 1998, but serving campus has not

Now, the new location in the Student Union is the strongest reflection of ITS’ overall evolution. Last year, ITS launched an internal brand to guide a modern, energetic and professional presence. The driving force behind the brand is to unify ITS’ physical and digital spaces. The new Service Desk location design dovetails with other ITS services redesigned using the brand, including the refreshed Help Portal.

“Our new Student Union location is a great representation of ITS and an exceptional student-focused space,” Groves said.

UL space to remain in use by ITS

Pending long-term space planning, the Undergraduate Library will remain the home for some back-of-house functions for the Service Desk, as well as two essential ITS teams, Classroom Hotline and the Computer Repair Center (CRC). Classroom Hotline provides technical support to general-purpose classrooms on campus and uses the UL space as its call center and home base for support technicians. The CRC, which also operates a satellite location in the Giles Horney Building on Airport Drive, is UNC’s authorized repair center for Lenovo, Apple and Dell computers.


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