Columbia, Cornell College + Skedda
Making sharing spaces easier for faculty, staff, and students
Columbia Climate School is the nation’s first climate school established under Columbia University. Its mission is to develop and inspire knowledge-based solutions and educate future leaders for just and prosperous societies on a healthy planet. Students are back on campus full-time for classes, and the school is asking faculty and staff to return 3 to 4 days a week.
Cornell College is a private liberal arts college in Mount Vernon, Iowa, known for its One Course curriculum. Founded in 1853, the school now attracts students from 42 states and 17 foreign countries. Students are back on campus full-time for classes, and there is an increased need for space for faculty and staff to work in person or take video calls.
Previously, these universities had no formal space management technology. Some were using traditional spreadsheets or Google Calendars to make reservations. The universities chose Skedda to help them better manage their room and desk reservations for faculty, staff, and students.
Many schools still used spreadsheets, Google Calendar, or paper stacks to manage reservations. That made tracking all the reservations throughout the different campuses almost impossible. It also created a confusing user experience as there were no photos or descriptions of these spaces, so people new to the universities didn’t know what these spaces looked like.
The various methods made the reservation process extremely confusing and inefficient. People wouldn’t know where to reserve a space, how to reserve one, or even know if they needed to. When there were disputes, finding out who had the space reservation was challenging as well.
“Our conference room and private office space is limited, so we want to make sure people get the room they need when they need it, without stepping on each other’s toes.” - Alejandro Vazquez, Administrative Manager at Columbia
Universities needed an easier way to reserve spaces without stepping on each other’s toes. For some schools like Columbia, their campus space is very limited, and with more people returning to campus, they saw their shared spaces filling up quickly. They also saw people come in from other campuses needing a desk or conference room just for the day, and people would often arrive on campus to find there were no workspaces left for them.
Before Skedda, universities were not using their real estate efficiently. One person may take up an entire meeting room to just take a call. Universities needed a way to see all the reservations and contact details on one platform. They also wanted a reservation system that was accessible, quick to implement, and easy to use.
Universities turned to Skedda as a space management solution to help their staff, faculty, and students reserve dedicated spaces for meetings, events, and classes more easily. They wanted a system that was quick to implement, easy to use, and could integrate with their existing Google Calendars.
Easily view spaces and amenities with interactive maps
Universities loved the interactive maps customized to their specific floor plans. Before Skedda, it was challenging for people to see what the spaces looked like, making it confusing to know if a space worked for them. The interactive maps show in real-time what spaces are available and the amenities (i.e., projector, video camera, sound system, etc.) provided. People could click on a reservable space and see photos and descriptions of it, making it very clear what spaces are like.
“Someone who’s never used Skedda can figure it out. Students love seeing the interactive floorplan and space descriptions so they can book the right-sized space with the right resources when they need it.” - Gavin Curless, Events/Facilities at Cornell College
Streamline and secure use of space with automated controls
Admins could limit the reservation hours, create buffers between reservations for setup and cleanup, and even restrict access to specific spaces. For instance, admins used user tags to differentiate students from faculty. Faculty cannot reserve student-only spaces in the residential buildings, and vice-versa. This also helps prevent people from reserving spaces in buildings they do not have access to, as admins could restrict reservation rights only to people with access to the building.
“We have one building that is not a Columbia site, so we don't have free access in that building. We started limiting the people that use those conference rooms to people who already have access to that building, and so far that's worked out.” - Alejandro Vazquez, Administrative Manager at Columbia
Increase visibility and organization with a single source of truth
Skedda has brought visibility to the various events happening on campus, as people need to reserve spaces through the platform for these events. Admin could view all reservations on Skedda, giving them an idea of how busy the different spaces will be and if they need to reschedule anything in the future. By being able to view the reservation calendar in different formats, admins could ‘deep dive’ into reservation details, see what their day looks like with the Day View, or plan ahead with the Month View.
“Having one single place to check who is reserving what helps give us full visibility and control into what’s going on in the building.” - Gavin Curless, Events/Facilities at Cornell College
University admins can focus on other essential responsibilities without worrying about desk and room reservations. They no longer have to worry about people being in spaces they shouldn’t be or constantly physically check to see if there are available spaces. All of that is visible on the Skedda platform.
Admins can also see who has made reservations, the availability, and what spaces are currently reserved. Since reservations on Skedda are updated in real-time, admins can easily know if someone hasn’t reserved a space and use that information to mitigate the situation.
“I feel elated. Skedda just works. I don’t need to handhold anyone through the process. It’s one less thing we have to deal with so I can focus on more important things.” - Alejandro Vazquez, Administrative Manager at Columbia
Skedda has helped minimize confusion and mistakes. People can see what the space looks like and what amenities are provided without having to show up in person. This is especially helpful for people new to the campus or who need specific equipment in the rooms. Additionally, Skedda helps staff better control the reservation window and keep people from reserving spaces after hours.
“Skedda has restored order to the building. Even on our busiest days, the Commons have a peace to it. It was Homecoming with a million things happening, and not once did I have to worry about someone being in the wrong room at the wrong time. Now we think: why would we do it any other way?” - Gavin Curless, Events/Facilities at Cornell College
People feel more comfortable knowing they have a dedicated space when they’re on campus. Admin also feels more empowered to manage shared spaces because Skedda streamlines the reservation process and provides detailed information that can be used to resolve conflicts. Skedda has helped universities and colleges use their spaces and resources more efficiently so that staff, faculty, and students all have a better work and campus experience.
Looking to streamline room and desk reservations at your institution? Create your free Skedda account today.