Student employees at Hop praise its variety of job opportunities

by Anna Parachkevova | 5/20/04 5:00am

Editor's note: This is the first in a multi-part series on employment conditions for students at the College.

Selling tickets, stage managing, monitoring an art exhibition, wiping tables or washing dishes in the cafeteria -- many jobs, one location.

The Hopkins Center is not just a site for esoteric Scandinavian dance ensemble performances. It is also a place where student employment thrives.

Students' reasons for working part time at the Hop vary greatly.

Hopkins Center Gallery employee Alvin Black III '05 said practicality played an important role in his decision to work there.

"I am an art major. Being in the Hop is convenient, since I spend most of my time here anyway," Black said.

Black added that he was particularly drawn to work at the gallery because its graduating seniors' exhibit may feature some of his artwork during the 2004-2005 academic year.

Kate Schuerman '05 said that she first decided to work at The Hop box office because the job made her more knowledgeable about upcoming concerts and events on campus.

Schuerman said that she has stuck to her job because she enjoys observing Dartmouth students in action.

Other students indicated that special interests attracted them toward Hopkins Center employment.

Glen Buchberger '04 said that he joined the tech crew at the Hop his freshman year because he worked with lighting prior to enrolling in Dartmouth.

"I did lighting in high school," Buchberger said. "I liked the idea of working in a professional atmosphere."

Most student-workers expressed a general satisfaction with the work atmosphere at the Hop.

"It's great," Schuerman said. "Everyone is really nice, and you get to work in a place that is air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter."

However, Buchberger claimed that there is room for improvement.

"For the most part, I like working there, but I also feel like our opinions are not always consulted or valued as much," Buchberger said.

Between working on a tight schedule and preparing for shows, full time employees are often left with little or no time to train students properly, Buchberger said.

Therefore, according to Buchberger, students often do not learn all facets of their jobs.

"As far as learning something new, I have not learned all that much," Buchberger said. "It's been mostly a honing of skills."

The Courtyard Cafe currently has no student employees. Winter term, it had two student workers, Courtyard Cafe employee supervisor Florence Yanni said.

The students were "pretty cool," Courtyard Cafe employee Patrick O'Malley said.

O'Malley suggested that student interest in working at Courtyard Cafe is low because it requires more work than most campus jobs.

"They feel like they have to work hard here, wash dishes and stuff. There is too much to do," O'Malley said.

Schuerman decided not to work at Courtyard Cafe for similar reasons.

"I've worked with DDS before," she said. "It's just harder, it's dirtier, especially if you have to be on the grill line."