MacEwan University introduces virtual waiting system
Shuffle ahead one half-step at a time. Fiddle with your phone. Check the clock on the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) wall – if you’re close enough yet to see it. A friend messages you to go for coffee. But you can’t go. You’re stuck in line, waiting to see an OUR staff member – and you still haven’t bought your textbooks or picked up your U-Pass.
Record scratch – maybe that’s how it worked in the past, but in August 2013 MacEwan University introduced myQ, a virtual queuing system that saves students the hassle of waiting hours in line.
After all, you have better things to do than stand around thinking about how you have better things to do.
The OUR brought the idea to the Student Technology Fee Committee, which supports yearly tech projects. “Students contributed directly to the project through the Information Technology Fee,” says Cameron McCoy, president of the Students’ Association of MacEwan University. SAMU supported the idea to introduce the myQ system as a way to streamline interactions for students and the OUR.
So what does myQ do to make waiting easier?
First, you can text myQ from anywhere – across campus or across the city, or even from your bed at home or in Residence. Text “macewan” to 587-880-2285 and you’ll get a message back asking you to choose the service you need. Don’t worry – it’s multiple choice.
Once you’ve selected one of the options, you’re automatically added to that virtual line and given an estimate of your wait time. You can also text myQ for status updates, help, or to leave the line. The system will also message you when it’s your turn to go to the front of the line.
Even better, if you miss the LRT or find yourself occupied elsewhere, you can let myQ know, and it will allow other students to jump ahead of you.
Why is this awesome?
You just saved yourself hours of standing in line – during the OUR’s busy months, the average wait time on the fee and payment plan lines can easily hit two hours. Take this bonus time to explore your campus and search out your classrooms, talk to your program advisor, buy your textbooks or meet up with friends.
“MyQ allows students to pay and interact with the Office of the University Registrar in a more efficient and stress-free way,” says Cameron. “Overall, it helps our students have a better experience.”
More in the First-Year Student Primer series: