PRISM expands services
In an effort to reach more students, PRISMRESOURCES, an on-campus organization that provides technical resources to student members at Wilfrid Laurier University, has recently expanded the equipment and programs it has available for members.
“We’re starting to branch out and offer a lot of different [resources] so that we can benefit every [student],” said Julia Schafrick, president of PRISMRESOURCES, about the new equipment and services being offered.
Along with the past offerings of laptop rentals and computer skills courses for a wide variety of computer software, PRISM has recently expanded its offerings with more chargers and new cameras available, including the Canon T5i camera.
One of the major new introductions is a software application called lynda.com [learn at your own pace] that has self-guided tutorials for different computer programs, like Excel or Photoshop.
“We’ve had a huge increase in demand for our training classes, which was one of the reasons we decided to invest in ‘lynda,’” explained Schafrick. “And part of that stems from the level of competition students are experiencing in the job market. Everyone wants to get that edge and PRISM is a great way to learn some skills that they can apply directly to a job.”
Membership is part of the student fees for undergraduate students in Laurier’s School of Business and Economics (SBE). However, they have the ability to opt-out if they wish. All other undergraduate students are able to opt-in if they wish to access the services PRISMRESOURCES provides.
“We are trying to invest in things that are relatively inexpensive, but that will benefit a lot of people,” explained Schafrick. “So ‘lynda’ is good for any kind of faculty, like if you are an arts student, you can learn to use Photoshop and apply it to any [project] you are doing.”
Awareness of the resources offered by PRISM is an issue which Schafrick and the PRISM executive team have already begun addressing in recent years. For example, they have started an initiative to get into first-year classes and make these services known.
It is their hope that when the Global Innovation Exchange building opens that PRISM will move into a prominent location and boost student awareness simply by being more publically visible.
“I think it’s really exciting news that PRISM is expanding their services. Their services are great as it is, having more options available to students is always better,” said one BBA undergrad, Aman Punjabi, about the newest PRISM offerings. “But I think it’s necessary [for PRISM to] promote these new [resources] because right now I see PRISM as a study space and a rental facility.”
Punjabi shared that he began using PRISM in his first-year at Laurier after his laptop broke.
Schafrick said that PRISM is always looking for feedback from students and members.