Inside Higher Ed, Forget Lazy Rivers. Does Your College Offer a Concierge?:
In the last several years, colleges have been criticized for their climbing walls and lazy rivers, which signal to some too much spending on nonacademic matters.
Wait until those critics hear about the latest trend: concierges for students.
New Mexico State University’s nearly one-year old concierge service -- the Crimson Concierge program -- offers students everything from help booking vacations, to, for an extra fee, doing their laundry.
New Mexico State relies on a popular vendor among colleges and universities, Sodexo, to carry out Crimson Concierge, and the company said it intends to expand to other institutions.
“We are very aware of the fact that a large percentage of students are making their ultimate selection on schools that really can fulfill the ‘college experience,’” said Steve Bettner, assistant vice president of auxiliary services at New Mexico State. “Places that have amenities.”
Forbes in a column over the weekend declared New Mexico State’s program “the only one in the country,” which is not the case. High Point University, a private institution in North Carolina, has since 2007 operated a concierge service [right] even more expansive than New Mexico State’s.
The author of the Forbes piece, Christopher Elliott, the founder of a consumer nonprofit, praised the concierge service as a way to alleviate student stress. ...
At High Point University, the concierge handles phone calls to the university and communications with parents and gives students free rides to the nearby airport, as well as some of the services that Crimson Concierge offers, such as travel reservations, said Lyndsey Derrow, the chief concierge. It also sponsors some programs that might be more traditionally housed in a career center, such as taking pictures for a LinkedIn profile or teaching communication skills.