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By Devon Maresco
College campuses are often compared to beehives for good reason: they’re continuously abuzz with movement and activity. Students travel to and from class, professors trek across campus to teach, support staff prepare facilities, and common areas are epicenters for everything that happens in-between. To coordinate it all and reduce congestion, move management for schools needs to be a priority.
While it might seem impossible to control the constant ebb and flow of bodies from place-to-place on campus, there are actually significant control factors. Where students attend class might dictate where they choose to adjourn to after. Likewise, the time of day influences how they’ll get to a particular area. Dozens of small factors like this congeal into the concept of move management. When you understand when and where people are traveling, you can influence how they get there.
Here’s a look at what move management means in the context of a college campus and how facility managers can take a more intuitive approach to alleviating campus friction.
What is move management?
Move management for colleges and schools involves orchestrating space so it’s accessible by those who need it. Nowhere is this more evident on a college campus than in the classroom itself.
Take, for example, an amphitheater-style lecture hall that seats 100 students. If the average class size is 30 students, it’s unlikely the school needs many amphitheater-style spaces. Instead, it’ll rely on a handful to house the more prolific undergrad classes with 80+ students in attendance. Facilitating a schedule that accommodates multiple classes in the same room during the day is a common form of move management.
Another common form of move management on campus occurs when dealing with multi-purposed facilities. Take the student union, for example. Today, there’s an art exhibition; tomorrow, there’s a job fair; next week, it’ll play host to a guest speaker. There’s a degree of prep and turnover associated with each instance, which falls under the purview of move management. How can facility managers get people into and out of that space in an orderly fashion?
Variables that influence campus movement
Move management on campuses is a tall order because it involves so many different dynamics, spanning thousands of people at any given time.
Take the amphitheater-style lecture hall example from above. To facilitate setup and transition of this space takes consideration for not only the room itself and the people using it, but also its context on campus. If facilities managers want to create a seamless interaction, they need to consider the space and all the reasons people have to interact with it:
- Where a class is scheduled to take place
- When a class is scheduled to take place
- Amenities and conveniences in a particular location
- Context of a particular location within the broader campus
- Access options for a particular building or space
An easier way to look at the variables influencing campus movement is to run down the major Ws: who, what, where, why, and when. Clear answers to these questions can give facility managers the insights they need to dictate how students and faculty interact with their environment.
The benefits of move management for schools
A well-orchestrated campus ensures a frictionless environment for students, faculty, staff, and anyone else navigating from one space to another. This ultimately improves campus experience—including making it easier for students to settle in and learn, and to interact with campus resources more freely.
There’s also a facilities optimization component attached to move management. Classrooms and workspaces that sit idle are a drain on utilization. Facility managers that can finesse transitions from one class to the next in a single space do more to improve the utilization metrics of that space, and the ROI of campus buildings.
Finally, there’s order and organization to consider. These two variables are hard to come by on a college campus with so many independent individuals present. Move management creates structure in a fundamental way, which has a ripple effect on how people behave on campus. It’s less likely a student will visit Building A on Tuesdays if they don’t have any classes there. This translates to crowd control and better navigability for other students who do have a class there—and for the students after them who’ll occupy that same space.
Consider the campus ecosystem
While comparing it to a beehive is often a jest, it’s actually an apt comparison. Beehives are surprisingly organized, and every bee knows exactly where it’s going and how to get there. It’s chaos, but organized chaos. The same is true for college campuses. Move management can turn the everyday erratic movements of students and faculty into carefully designed ebbs and flows that make life on campus easier for everyone.
By controlling the factors that influence how people move on campus, facility managers can ensure freedom of movement for people to get where they need to go, when they need to get there. Instead of getting stymied at a major thoroughfare or clogging up the hallway outside a popular lecture hall, move management ensures proper utilization with minimal overlap—so the entire campus can stay busy as bees.
Keep reading: Move Management Checklist