A Week in the Student Worker's Life: An Inside Peek

Photo courtesy: smith.eduMichelle Lee '16

Associate Editor | Managing Editor 

Come the end of spring semester, many students prepare to stay on campus two weeks after the end of school to work for Smith’s age- old tradition of Reunion, a gathering of alumnae classes for two weekends.

During Reunion, many alumnae opt to stay in Smith housing for the weekend. In preparation, the average student worker conducts a variety of housekeeping activities to welcome alumnae guests back on campus. From Tuesdays to Thursdays, student workers work in groups of generally four or five, led by a student work coordinator, to clean available house rooms and set up linens for alumnae guests.

This type of cleaning entails more than dusting or vacuuming. Student workers not only clear trash left by previous residents, but also vacuum, mop, scrub, and wipe down the furniture, floor, and windows. Workers also prepare linens for each bedroom and prepare other small decorative touches to the room. The entire housekeeping process is a three-day affair for Reunion workers, as they clean all on- campus houses in preparation for visiting guests.

Outside mandatory housekeeping shifts, student workers sign up for voluntary shifts encompassing a wide variety of services intended for both alumnae and Reunion workers alike. Workers also volunteer in extra dining shifts in consolidated student dining hall locations, while others may sign up for alumnae-related work shifts from Thursday afternoon to Sunday. Shifts include portering alumnae luggage upon arrival or waitressing at alumnae-designated dining locations. When alumnae arrive, from Thursday afternoon until Sunday, student workers generally sign up for shifts related to check-in as well as alumnae-coordinated events such as class mixers.

Contrary to popular belief, many Reunion workers are not able to watch commencement due to work commitments. Oftentimes shifts will conflict with commencement times, but the cherished occasion is broadcasted and livestreamed across various locations on campus.