Student Workers: The Backbone of Campus

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Published September 18, 2019
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The Montclarion
Deven Diamantis and fellow Rec Center employees pose for a photo outside of the building. Photo courtesy of Deven Diamantis

Standing in the rain at 7:30 a.m., baking donuts or cleaning sweaty workout machines are common morning rituals for some at Montclair State University. Hundreds of students have on-campus jobs in addition to their school work at the university.

Many of us recognize our resident and service assistants who work for Residence Life and interact with other student workers on a daily basis. It’s easy to forget that when you’re struggling to get coffee before your 8 a.m., another student was up to make it, and that the crossing guards we speed past every morning could be in some of our classes.

Jozyah Ramos, a sophomore television production major, worked as a crossing guard last school year. She says the worst part about working in bad weather is that it causes more people to ignore her. Last year, two girls walked into the street to get out of the snow even after she tried to stop them and they almost got hit.

“The girls looked at me with a frown as if the near accident was my doing,” Ramos said.

Conducting traffic is an important responsibility and Ramos wishes everyone were more careful and realized that getting somewhere safely is more important than getting there quickly.

“Being rude or upset with a crossing guard doesn’t make sense because we’re just trying to make sure everyone’s safe and has a fair enough time to drive and cross,” Ramos said.

Another important line many students wait in is at Dunkin’ Donuts. Julia Forsyth, a sophomore music education major, is in her second year working at the Blanton location. Forsyth enjoys chatting with the fellow students she helps in line.

“Joke with us,” Forsyth said. “Most of the staff is really fun and talkative and we just want to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Some customers even recognize Forsyth by name, which is pretty impressive considering students rarely know who sits next to them in a lecture. Providing the caffeine to energize students through classes and late-night studying makes Dunkin’ Donuts employees an important part of campus.

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The Student Recreation Center primarily employs students.
Rosaria Lo Presti | The Montclarion

Many say the real heart of campus is the Student Recreation Center, otherwise known as the Rec Center. As the largest job supplier on-campus, not only do they hire front desk employees, but they also hire lifeguards and group fitness instructors.

Deven Diamantis, a sophomore public relations major, is often seen cleaning machines or smiling as she swipes students in.

“The best part about working at the Rec Center is getting to meet and know everyone that comes in,” Diamantis said.

Working at such a popular spot means Diamantis has witnessed some interesting things. She’s had to warn others that doing squats in a Patagonia vest and bucket hat is dangerous and notify others that they are not allowed to run barefoot on the track or treadmills.

Along with the rules, Rec Center employees such as Diamantis tend to know when the gym will get crowded.

“The best time to work out is definitely early in the morning between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., or late at night between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.,” Diamantis said.

Even when finishing a workout after midnight, it’s nice to remember the people who will clean up after you and help with RecFest events the next day. Student workers are easy to overlook, but they are involved with all aspects of life at Montclair State.

There are many on-campus employment opportunities listed on Hire a Red Hawk where others can apply to learn their own behind the scenes tricks.

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