By Charlese Freeman
Student Life Editor
New changes are underway for campus desk workers in the dormitories.
Student workers monitoring the desk for 24-hours will now get paid $8 per hour.
This new change eliminates the “special desk” worker position, which currently pays students $9 dollars an hour to work the weekend shifts of 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. On the other hand, current regular desk workers, make $7.25 and hour and will be receiving a pay increase.
The changes have already been implemented for new desk workers. The students who currently work as the special desk workers will finish the rest of the semester before they transition into the regular desk worker position.
The student desk workers were informed via email that all desk workers will be required to work at least one of the two, three or four hour shifts between 12 to 8 a.m. at least once a week and on their scheduled weekends.
Last Thursday on April 19, Resident Director of Hemlock Suites Patrick Monaghan, organized two desk receptionist meetings to explain in greater detail to the student workers about the new changes in preparation for next school year.
Monaghan was accompanied by Chief of Police William Parish, from the university police station.
Monaghan went into detail about not only making changes to the physical position, but changing the students’ attitudes toward the position.
He admonished students watching for television at the desk and bringing their friends to work with them. Monaghan stressed students to be more assertive, and if possible, physically make people swipe their E-cards each time they enter the building.
Prior to the meeting, students questioned why the university will not hire security officers to watch over the dorms.
One question that was asked during the meeting was what workers who live in the University Ridge should do if the shuttle stops running at 10 p.m. on some days and they work a 12-4 a.m. group.
“If you are concerned about returning to your hall or apartment, call the police station and ask for a safety escort,” Parish said. “We don’t expect you to go after people that you think may be a danger to you. If you are not sure rather something is safe or not just call the police.”
Monaghan also said not many of the desk workers actually know the visitation hours, which is an important aspect of the understanding the job.
ESU students are still considered visitors if they are in another hall they where do not live.
Monaghan stressed that they will be reinforcing the visitation hours, of non-student visitors have to leave by 12 a.m. and student visitors have to leave by 1 a.m.
Parish stressed how important it is to stop students who may appear suspect.The students should use their common sense to determine in what situations they should feel hostile and when they should not.
Parish mentioned the fact that on the night of the Shawnee stabbing the suspects were able to get into the building, but only because a student who was leaving the building accidentally let them in.
Fortunately, the desk worker denied the suspects any further access into the building.
Parish noted “one guy had a bandanna on his face” which was alarming to the desk worker.
Aside from the need for stronger safety outlets most student desk workers, still think that reconstructing the job in this way is not the best idea for students.
“I think it is a bad idea,” said Emoni Lewis, ESU desk worker. “It is extra that we have to be here like security guards, what if somebody actually comes in here? No one come in after 2am and it’s a non-stop 24-hour shift during the week.”
The mention of the Shawnee stabbing bought Monaghan to his next point about “tailgating” outside the residence halls.
Between certain class periods students of other halls patiently linger outside residence halls until entering students allow them access.
Monaghan states “One of the things that you’re going to have to learn how to do, if you haven’t learned already, is be assertive. This means to get up and go after someone and say ‘hey can you swipe your ID?’ If you see ten or 15 people waiting at the door you may have to make them swipe one at a time.”
The change is a result of the series of crimes taking place on or near campus.
All resident hall desk areas will be renovated to with protective glass window to separate the desk workers from the people coming in the building.
The Shawnee Quad stabbing and the situation with the Dominos delivery driver encouraged ESU’s Res Life to take further safety precautions to assure campus safety.
“I just think it’s stupid if you’ve been a desk worker for two years and the new rules come up and they change everything,” ESU student, Alison McCrorey said.
“Patrick is like well if you can’t do the overnight shifts you can’t do the front desk.” “Patrick says we won’t be able to do the work at the front desk and I won’t be able to get my work done and the shifts during the week are unrealistic for student workers.”
However, at the meeting Monaghan expressed that they have no problems with students doing their homework at the desk, but they should also be focused on who is coming in and out of the residence halls, and overall prepare for these changes next school year.
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