When you pull down the tray in front of your airline seat and see that it is broken, do you think that the cabin crew is falling down on the job, or do you start to worry about the plane’s engine? When you see a smudged lipstick print on your wine glass, do you think about the waiter falling down on the job by not noticing and replacing it, or do you start to worry about the hygiene of the people preparing your food? The perception is that if the little things are not taken care of, then are the big things being given the care and attention they need?

On a college campus these details can be little things like the wall post with tacked on advertisements that are years old. It could be a bathroom stall door that is broken and never gets fixed or the paper towel dispenser that never works. It might be the cracked sidewalk or peeling paint on the side of the building. Or, perhaps it is the signage that has faded and no one can read it anymore, but because you know where the building is, everyone forgets that new people won’t be able to find it.

Sometimes it is not the physical environment, but it is the old procedure that is still followed when it doesn’t make sense to do it that way, but we still do. No one questions the procedure, because “that’s how we have always done it.” It may be the process that originally was designed that worked for that time; such as paying for all classes with a cash or check payment at the cashier’s station, but today it would be so much easier if students could pay by credit card or a mobile app.

My recommendation is to take a walk through your school and look through the lens of the student and you will start to see those small details, that if changed or improved, could make a BIG difference in the student’s experience.

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