BY BRYNN BOYER AND SARAH SANDERS
Since the beginning of the semester, desks at the entrance of freshman residence halls have been left unattended due to the elimination of the desk aide program last December.
Residence Life recommended the program be cut and the Board of Visitors approved the decision at its meeting on Nov. 20.
The program, which existed in the five freshmen dorms, will leave over 25 students searching for a new form of campus employment this semester.
Jenny Davenport, a junior, was a desk aide in Jefferson Hall. She said she found out that her position was being eliminated over Thanksgiving Break.
“Everyone was annoyed,” Davenport said. “I know some people were really upset about it.”
Despite this recent elimination, staff in the financial aid department have assured students that there are currently no plans to further cut back on student employment.
“I have not been informed of any cuts, but there definitely aren’t going to be any increases in the budget either,” Angie Pitzer, campus employment supervisor, said.
Cutting the desk aide program will save the university around $30,000 annually, Residence Life Director Chris Porter said.
“Everybody across the institution had to make cuts,” Porter said in early December. “None of these are easy decisions.”
According to Porter, the desk aide program was much larger in the past, with desk aides in upperclassmen dorms as well as freshman dorms.
As recently as three years ago, freshmen residents had to take turns acting as desk aides in their residence halls.
“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.”
Davenport, who does not have a job this semester, said she wishes she had found out about the changes sooner.
“I was a little bit annoyed that they waited that long to tell us,” she said. “At that point I thought it was too late to find another job.”
Although desk aide positions will no longer be in existence, honor sign-in for visitors will be in effect in all residential buildings.