Brittany Schock/ Asst. photo editor
We’re the people who cook your food, swipe you into the RPAC and play an essential role in keeping your everyday facilities up and running. But being an employee of Student Life promises so much more than just a paycheck. As a Student Life employee, I’ve had opportunities to engage with the university community in ways I never would have imagined. Just Monday night, I was privileged to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of John Glenn’s trip into space. After receiving one of the last-minute tickets available to all Student Life employees, I arrived at the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. and was welcomed into a space-age rendition of a formal affair. While six screens (one of which ran the length of the room) projected different facts about the journey amidst the backdrop of an imitated starry expanse, my tablemates and I exchanged information: one worked at Kennedy Commons, another taught swimming lessons, another was a lifeguard at the RPAC and yet another was a server at the Union Market. Generally surprised and thankful for our luck in being able to attend and see speakers like Neil Armstrong, Mark Kelly and former Senator Glenn and his wife, Annie, themselves, we couldn’t help but wonder, how and why did those within Student Life make such an effort to include us?
I suppose the title Student Life employee is rather self-explanatory in this regard. Just like student-athletes are regarded as students rather than athletes who happen to study, so, too, are Student Life employees primarily regarded as learners working within a dynamic organization rather than employees within a lifeless institution. Whether receiving emails summarizing opportunities to participate in Columbus’ centennial celebration, offers to volunteer within the community or reminders about internship openings, the professional staff within Student Life work diligently to promote every event and opportunity available to their employees for self-education, broadening and betterment, and consistently prove their efforts to us by opening events, like Monday’s — one that would ordinarily cost $1,000 per seat — to us. For this, I thank them. For this, I am thankful for my job and all that it implies.