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Campuses attract students over summer break

Katie Kohler | Tuesday, May 2, 2006

South Bend’s appeal skyrockets once you remove the school factor – at least in the eyes of the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students preparing to spend their summers working on campus at various opportunities offered through their respective school.

Students have taken jobs doing anything from service projects to volunteering as tour guides this summer. Most of the summer employees will live on campus in reserved dorms provided by their school. Not all students pay room and board, however, as some jobs include housing.

Notre Dame junior Kyle Miller said he worked on campus last year as a hall manager for the Office of Residence Life and Housing and is planning on doing the same this year. He lived in Pasquerilla East, which housed graduate students primarily for the Ernst & Young program, a weekly program sponsored by the Center for Continuing Education (CCE).

“It was a fun and interesting job,” Miller said. “The social life was a little more relaxed, but there is plenty to do as far as going to the movies, baseball games and other things. Most of the time we would be grilling behind one of the dorms for our meals.”

Saint Mary’s junior Rachel Sokolowski has worked at the College’s Fine Arts Summer Camp for the past three years.

“I like staying on campus during the summer because of the scenery and weather,” she said. “I love the camp and working with the campers.”

Lisa Peppers, assistant director for Internal Events in the Office of Special Events at Saint Mary’s, said some student employment opportunities include counselors at fine arts, athletic or academic camps as well as lifeguarding at the campus pool. Camp counselors live and dine in the residence halls with the campers, but other workers typically need to pay for room and board.

Assistant Director of External Events Jessica Stuifbergen said room and board cost an average of $40 per night over the summer. Stuifbergen said she typically hires 25 to 30 girls over the summer to manage events that occur on campus but are not College-sponsored. Three of these positions include “event managers,” a priviledged position that includes free room and board.

“The ‘event managers’ do all the leg-work once the organizations get to campus,” Stuifbergen said. “The positions that offer free room and board are highly competitive, and we usually have a large number of applicants.”

Stuifbergen said there are some easy jobs on campus for busy students. She said she hires four “lockouts,” which are students on-call to unlock doors for people who are staying on campus.

“Some of the jobs are good for students who are taking summer courses in South Bend,” she said.

And there is never a shortage of workers, Peppers said.

“I usually have to turn people away,” she said. “There are lots of great applicants and always a good number of people who contact us.”

Some students take volunteering jobs over the summer months. Notre Dame senior Mallory Brown has been a tour guide at Notre Dame for the past two summers. She also worked as a research assistant, a desk clerk and Office of Residence Life and Housing hall staff member.

“Staying on campus was an amazing experience, especially during the weeks that there were no conferences or summer camps,” she said. “It felt like the few hall staffers were the only people there and we formed great friendships.”

Notre Dame senior Moira Madden was an assistant hall manager as well as a tour guide. She decided to stay on campus for the summer after traveling abroad.

“I felt like I missed five months of Notre Dame,” she said. “This was my way of making up for lost time.”

Brown, originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, said she decided to stay on campus to get better job experience.

“I felt like I could get more experience here than home,” Brown said. “I just really like being at Notre Dame.”

Saint Mary’s junior Allison Beyer will be working at the Immigrant and Refugee Center in South Bend this summer through a service program with the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE).

“The service program I applied to was the best in regards to experience and finances and I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from the past participants,” she said.

Whether working at camps or as a special events coordinator, students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s seem to appreciate the opportunity to work and live on campus over the summer.

“We get nothing but positive feedback,” Peppers said. “That is why we keep getting so many applicants every year.”