U offers students summer positions

Full-time hours and free rent are some of the perks of summer in the residence halls.

Kevin McCahill

Students looking for a full-time job, a free place to stay and a chance to get some international flavor in their life must look no further than right here on campus.

Housing and Residential Life, along with the newly formed conference and event services department, are accepting applications from students who want to work in the University’s residence halls during the summer.

The University will have conferences and events that require visitors to stay on campus. The summer assistants will work at residence halls to take care of their needs.

Keri Leroux, coordinator of conference and event services, said this is her first year organizing the program.

She said the students chosen will help at one of the eight residence halls that will be used for conferences and events during the summer.

“The mission is to get these facilities used during the summer,” Leroux said of the residence halls. “We have a lot of space available when students aren’t around.”

A rotation of students will be at each hall 24 hours a day to work with check-in and check-out, running the front desk and other duties.

Leroux said there are 135 conferences scheduled at the University this summer, and students will be needed to handle all the guests. Leroux said 35 to 40 students will be hired and will work 40 hours a week.

Although they don’t need previous experience working with housing, it is a plus, she said.

“Generally the people hired are very outgoing and willing to accommodate people from all different ages and backgrounds,” she said.

Kim Araya, director of conference and event services, has run the sessions. She said that for students, there are no other opportunities on campus offering so much varied interaction in so short a time.

“It confirms or denies what they are doing in their major,” she said. “Some students find out they don’t like 10-year-olds or don’t like 80-year-olds.”

Student applications are due Feb. 24, and each student who applies will receive an interview, which will be in March. Those accepted will live in Frontier or Comstock hall during the summer.

Summer assistants will receive $290 a week, paid Flex-dine meals and a single room, Araya said.

To apply, students need to have lived in a residence hall, have a 2.5 grade point average and have two letters of recommendation.

Three summer coordinators also have been chosen to oversee the assistants. These leaders have worked in event coordinating before. One of them is journalism junior Erice Smith.

Smith worked as a summer assistant last year after working in his residence halls and enjoyed it. He applied to the summer program and decided to stay with it this year, now working as a summer coordinator.

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Smith said the job can be difficult but worth the effort.

“The hardest part is interacting with all types of people,” he said. “There are all different ages, backgrounds and cultures.”

Yudof, Comstock, Bailey, Centennial, Territorial, Frontier, Sanford and Middlebrook halls will be used this summer, Leroux said.

Besides the pay, Leroux said, landing the job could be a real benefit.

“It’s great experience working with a wide range of people doing a lot of tasks,” she said. “People who know you worked in events before understand the stress. It makes you very marketable.”

Andrea Peterson is a graduate student who has worked as a summer assistant and coordinator.

She said she enjoys the fast-paced atmosphere and chance to meet and work with a variety of people.

“There are art majors to kinesiology majors to anything,” she said.

Araya said the job offers experience in dealing with a variety of people. She pointed to the World Cup Youth Soccer Tournament held each summer in Minnesota in which participants stay in University residence halls.

“It’s living together and working together,” she said. “It’s fun but it isn’t summer camp. This is work; you will earn your money.”

English and French sophomore Brian Minalga said the pay played a major role in applying last year.

“It keeps me in a place I like with great pay that I need,” he said. “I don’t know what I would be doing without this job. I’d be in so much debt if I didn’t have this.”

Health and wellness senior Jonee Brandt worked as a summer assistant for two years. She said the pay was good, but the job wasn’t without its pitfalls.

“You work really crazy hours,” she said. “You’ll work an overnight and then work the next day so you only get a few hours’ sleep.”

She also said it could be trying living and working with the same people every day.

“You get really burnt out,” Brandt said. “You never really get a break for summer.”

As for dealing with guests, Brandt remembered a number of incidents, including cleaning up after drunken visitors and having children urinate in the ice machines.

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