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A student works at Nelson Dining Hall on April 7, 2022. Photo by Pearl Spurlock.

That's What You Missed on (the) Green!

August 15, 2022

OU student employees stay busy over the summer

By Alyssa Cruz | Assistant Culture Editor

While Bobcats may be back, Athens doesn't die when students pack up in April. Despite what empty residence halls and shortened hours for university buildings may suggest, many OU student employees remain on campus, or in the Athens area, to work over the summer. Working over the summer presents an opportunity to work in a less fast-paced environment and enjoy the abnormally tranquil campus.

Though the typical student population is not on campus during the summer, OU isn't completely empty. Bobcat Student Orientation took up a huge part of the summer, as incoming freshmen and other new undergraduate students visited the university.

Although there was an option to engage in this program virtually, many soon-to-be Bobcats flocked to Athens for classic orientation activities such as signing up for classes and learning more about their programs. Students and their guests even had the opportunity to stay in a residence hall during their trip.

When it commenced June 1, BSO was just one of the many events that ensured the campus stayed active and provided student employees a chance to work over the summer. With the university welcoming 4,435 students and 5,220 guests to the Athens campus, their employment was put to good use.

Some other programs and events included a Juneteenth festival on College Green and the Scripps High School Journalism Workshop. The workshop took place at the beginning of July, and the campus hosted 66 students from across the nation.

Even when without the large visiting populations, typical student jobs persist. Grace Cobb, a sophomore majoring in Virtual Reality and Game Development, works at Jefferson Marketplace as a retail inventory reporting office assistant. Cobb organizes the products and keeps inventory of the market.

"Especially over orientation, there was a lot going on," Cobb said, referring to BSO. "When the students at school come in, it's definitely a lot more aggressive. I definitely prefer having all the students here, but having the freshmen was a lot of fun."

Although Jeff Market is closed over the summer, Cobb said Culinary Service employees work together in open spaces such as Nelson Marketplace. If a student is looking for a job on campus, Cobb suggested reaching out to current employees.

"I would definitely say try and talk to as many different people from different departments as you can because there is definitely a lot of collaboration," Cobb said.

Cali Weber, a junior studying English, literature and writing, works in the library as an interlibrary loan assistant through a work-study position.

"It's very lenient but a little weird because campus is so empty," Weber said in an email.

Weber also said availability is the biggest difference between working an on-campus job over the summer and the school year. Since they are not taking classes over the summer, their schedule is more flexible.

“I've found (that) with my job it's very lenient and I'm still able to enjoy my summer. I can go in whenever I want, but I try to go in from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..”-Cali Weber

Although working over the summer is enjoyable, Weber prefers working during the school year. School and work combined require more of a routine.

Whilst there are many benefits to working a summer job on campus, Cobb said her favorite was making connections with her coworkers. Since Cobb has only been on campus one year, working over the summer provided her an opportunity to connect with many upperclassmen.

"I personally thought it was a good opportunity to be a freshman working this summer because I was able to form upperclassmen connections," Cobb said. "I also like to explore Athens when it's not so hectic. I think it was a really great opportunity if anyone else was considering it."

AUTHOR: Alyssa Cruz
EDITOR: Katie Millard
COPY EDITOR: Katie Trott
PHOTOGRAPHER: Pearl Spurlock