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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2018

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Student Desk Aide Positions to be Eliminated

Starting next semester, there will be no more desk aides in any dorms on-campus.

Residence life recommended the program be cut and the Board of Visitors approved the decision at its meeting on Nov. 20.

“Everybody across the institution had to make cuts,” Chris Porter, director of residence life said. “None of these are easy decisions.”

Five freshman buildings on-campus currently have desk aides, with about 25 or 30 students employed as desk aides in all, Porter said.

Eliminating the desk aide program will trim about $30,000 from the university’s budget, she said.

Porter said she had a meeting with the students employed as desk aides this week and she also contacted them back when the possibility of cutting the positions first came up. She contacted the Office of Financial Aid at around the same time to let the office know that many of the students employed as desk aides may end up looking for other on-campus positions.

Although desk aides will become a thing of Mary Washington’s past, honor sign-ins will still be in effect in dorms.

Porter said there used to be desk aides in upperclassmen dorms and even as recently as three years ago, residents of freshman dorms had to take turns acting as desk aides.

“The desk aide program, frankly, was already in the midst of being phased out,” Porter said. “It was time. It just happened to coincide with budget cuts.”

Still, Porter said she understands the hardship placed on students who are losing their jobs mid-year.

“[Some] are upset and I don’t blame them,” she said.