New Work Order System: Simple and Efficient

Student Centers has just released new work order procedures for maintenance/repair of its facilities. This includes basic building reparations, such as drywall repairs, minor plumbing issues, lighting maintenance, painting and other general building maintenance.

Our tenants have been requesting a simpler work order system and more structure in generating and clearing work orders. In the process of evaluation, we’ve developed a more efficient system for everyone.

The new work order procedure is in response to evolving requirements that both simplify the system and increase the efficiency of getting the work processed.

Why has the system changed?

When we evaluated the work order system, we

work_order_diagramfound that, due to some of the inefficient processes, the system was getting bogged down by multiple sources of generation, and a lack of work order tracking after they were generated. It had been in place for many years without being overhauled to reflect our growth. It wasn’t transparent to those who needed to manage job status. Unnecessary steps sometimes resulted in confusion. We discovered that all of this was adding costs and increasing the time it took to get the work done.

What is the biggest change that we will see?

The new system is streamlined and builds more control and transparency into the process.

It will enable us to take on more jobs for ourselves. Instead of jobs going directly to Facilities, we will handle the jobs that are clearly in our wheelhouse. This should enable us to complete work in a more timely manner. Best of all, the tenant will be able to follow the status of the work order until completed.

The other place we have tightened up is with the input process. All needed information is now gathered up front so a full estimation of the job can be made from the start. This will enable us to more accurately estimate completion time for our tenants.

How will users interact with the new system?

Mostly, we want you to use the convenient web form located here ( This form prompts the user for all necessary information to get the work order input correctly.

An example question might be, “Do we need to shut off power to repair?” It is extremely helpful to know this kind of thing from the start so that we can plan for a scheduled outage.

What if I don’t have access to the web form or need to phone it in?

Then, call the Student Centers main number at 703-993-2921. An office assistant will take your information and walk you through a series of quick questions that will aid our process.

Will this be more complicated than the old system?

No.  We expect that this process will actually be much simpler for our tenants and more effective for Student Centers as we are able to get more detailed information initially, which we expect to translate into quicker turnaround time.  Most importantly, this change will enable Student Centers to take a more hands-on approach, save the university money, and improve the tenants visibility of where their request is in the process.

What about emergencies?

If there is an emergency during business hours, call Keith Epps, the Facilities Manager for Student Centers. His office phone is 3-2857 and his mobile phone is 571-533-6704. Normal hours for the facilities manager are 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. If you cannot reach Keith at either number, then call the Student Centers main office at 703-993-2921.

What about events outside of normal business hours and on weekends?

If the incident is NOT an emergency but you want to get it into the system, just use the web form. A work order will generated the next business day and assigned.

If the incident IS TRULY an emergency, such as a burst pipe, electrical hazard, or power loss, happening outside of business hours or on a weekend, call Facilities at 703-993-2525 to report this. Facilities will handle the emergency and communicate back to us.


We are always looking for feedback about your Student Centers experience.  If you have comments or suggestions about our new work order system or any aspect of our Student Centers services, please complete the Student Centers feedback form.


Employee Highlight: Tim Harps

TIm Harps

Full Name: Tim Harps
Title: Event Services Manager, Prince William, Student Centers
Fun Fact: Loves running, yoga, and traveling
Notable Quote: “The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time” – Abraham Lincoln
Phone: 703-993-7014

Tim Harps knows event planning inside and out.

As the Event Services Manager for Student Centers on the Prince William campus, Tim creates exciting events that run smoothly from the idea stage all the way to implementation.

“I really get energized by the process of planning and executing events,” said Tim of his job.

Tim assigns the appropriate resources to facilitate the smooth running of events. He manages the allocation of staff, technical equipment, and operational resources for each event that happens at Prince William.

Customer and employee relations are a huge part of the job, with a typical work week consisting of client meetings and consultations with Prince William’s Events Coordinator. In addition, Tim trains staff and reviews the lineup of events booked in the university’s event scheduling system, 25Live.

A natural people person, Tim always greets clients and fellow employees with a friendly smile and an easygoing nature.

“I get a charge out of being a part of and leading a great team of folks committed to turning out a great product,” Tim said. “I feel a certain camaraderie with my peers in Student Centers and I enjoy our formal and our informal interactions when we have the opportunity to get together.”

Tim began his career at George Mason in 2010, starting work at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William campus. He supervised the Center’s usher staff. From there, he took his current job with Student Centers in 2012.

His past experience in events planning has made sure he’s ready for any challenge that an event can bring.

“By the time I looked at pursuing a position within Student Centers, I had several years of event experience at various area venues and found that I really enjoyed the work.”

After attending Liberty University, Tim pursued a career in the telecom industry. From the start Tim was a leader, managing a team of technicians responsible for supporting landline and wireless communication systems.

In 2005, Tim decided to make a change, switching careers. He began planning and promoting musical events in several different D.C. and metro area venues.

“I had the privilege of meeting so many different people, from artists to event professionals. I’ve taken so many of those experiences into my current role at Student Centers.”

Tim enjoys the dynamic nature of events and events planning at Mason, with each new event bringing a challenge and an innovative solution to that challenge.

“Remaining adaptable and avoiding being married to the original event execution plan is one of the things of which I have to be mindful,” Tim said. “Events—from the time they are conceived until execution—are dynamic and fluid affairs.”

Five Reasons to Use Our Water Bottle Filling Stations

Stay hydrated and green this season with our water bottle filling stations! Here are five reasons to take advantage of these awesome filling stations:

1 – You Can Save the Environment…

IMG_1780Using a refillable water bottle is better for the environment, as many disposable water bottles simply get thrown out. For instance: In 2012, only nine percent of the total plastic waste generated was recycled according to the EPA. If you already purchased a disposable water bottle, don’t worry! You can still fill it up at the station. Just remember to recycle it at one of our Student Centers recycling stations as it takes a disposable bottle 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill.

2 – …And Save Money (Lots of Money)

Refilling a water bottle is much cheaper than constantly buying bottled water. If you were to replace 200 bottles of water a year with free refillable water, it would amount to an annual savings of $300! Check out how much you could potentially save with the Bottled Water Cost Calculator.

3 – Convenient Locations

photo-2Don’t worry about being caught without water when you need it. We’ve got multiple water filling stations and other water fountains in the Johnson Center, SUB I and The Hub. In addition, there are many filling stations located around campus, including in the Aquatic Center and the RAC!

4 – Clean Water, Healthy Body

All the water from the filling stations is throughly filtered to purify it before consumption – making for a safe and tasty drink of water!

5 – Look Stylish While Saving the Planet

There are many companies that make stylish and durable water bottles, such as Klean Kanteen, Camelbak, and Nalgene. Just make sure yours is free of BPA (Bisphenol-A), a chemical linked to health concerns in animals and humans.