Friday, February 22, 2013

Student-workers earn cash at the Information Desk

By Alexi Lund
Feature Editor

Saint Mary’s students have the opportunity to work on-campus, gain extra cash and dedicate some time to do homework during their shift managing the switchboard at SMU’s Information Desk. 

“I was a freshman and saw a job opening at the Information Desk through an email,” said junior Eric Amerling. “I jumped right on the first thing I saw because my admissions counselor said that campus jobs go really fast.” 

Student-workers at the Information Desk are awarded work-study through the university. Some of the daily tasks at the Information Desk include answering phone calls and any questions people may have, transferring people to different departments, contacting maintenance for any problems, organizing incoming mail and packages that are received, sending faxes or making copies, managing alarms on campus and contacting the fire department if needed.

Senior Bethany Ostertag said her work-study experience has allowed her to acquire some skills that will help her in her future.  Ostertag said such experiences include “communicating with people over the phone, secretarial work and how to use a copier and a fax machine.”

Both Amerling and Ostertag said they like that they are able to do homework during their shift when there is down time. “It is a five-hour block that I can count on being some time for homework,” said Amerling. 

Ostertag shared one downside to working at the Information Desk.  She said, “Some people that call and ask questions can be pretty crabby if we are not able to help them.”

The Information Desk previously had overnight shifts, where students would work through the night.  Now, student-workers only work until midnight. 

It has been rumored that student-workers had ghost sightings and many stories from the previous late-night shift.

“Working at night alone on an old campus was always creepy, especially because I was a freshman when I had to work my overnight shift,” said Amerling. “Other than noises that I think I heard, I can’t say too much more about creepy occurrences. Although at 7 a.m., when the next shift came in, I had nodded asleep, and that person scared me awake; it was terrifying.” 

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