Residence Life and Student Activities Office open to contracting students

Megan Bennett / Sun Star

Although Residence Life and Student Activities Office (SAO) hire outside companies, they are willing to offer positions to student DJs and other student contractors. Opposing part-time or full-time staff who get paid for consistent hours of service, student contractors receive a one-time payment for service they provide.

Residence Life and SAO host year-round events for UAF students. In some of these events, professionals are hired instead of utilizing student talent.

When hiring student contractors, Residence Life and SAO undergo similar processes and considerations

Jamie Abreu, associate director of residence life, and Cody Rogers, associate director of planning for SAO, said that they would hire student contractors. The positions aren’t openly advertised for a number of reasons, according to Rogers

Residence Life and SAO has a full time staff who are trained to set up events and deal with most of the tasks that student contractors would be used for, according to Abreu.

“It depends on the situation whether or not to hire out. I don’t need to pay some outside source to do some things because I have the staff,” Cody Rogers, SAO associate director of programming, said.

In the cases where Residence Life and SAO need to hire outside their permeant staff, the choice of hiring a contract student depends on their resources. Often professionals have their own equipment where students have the skill, but would need equipment that Residence Life and SAO cannot provide to them, according to Rogers.

When planning events, finances are what it comes down to, according to Abreu. She said that it would be better to go with the option that can bring more to the table for their price. If the student contract option is cheaper but Residence Life and SAO would need to put in a significant amount for equipment, then it would be more cost effective to hire out to a professional.

In order for students to get contracted as DJ with SAO, the students must present an electric press kit (EPK) which consists of a sample of their music or any media they may have from a past experience to show evidence of their skill level.

“I don’t really want to hire students on a whim. I want to know what they can do,” Rogers said.

SAO hosts large events, so it is important that the entertainer can perform well for the crowd, according to Rogers.

Since Residence Life holds smaller scale events, they would be willing to hire starting DJs or those with little experience for their minor programs, according Abreu

Another factor for both organizations when hiring student contractors is seeking out these organizations with enough time in advance to be included in the event.  In order to ensure good entertainment for campus events, planning for them starts as early as a semester or half a semester in advance, Rogers said.

The process of planning events on campus is a fast paced operation and there isn’t extra time to seek out student employees, Abreu said.

Residence Life normally hires student DJs, but for their recent Halloween Dance they chose to hire out due to a time crunch, according to Abreu.

Though the need for contract students is low now, Residence Life and SAO are constantly changing and listening to student suggestions for new events, according to Abreu.

“A lot of times it’s up to student and what they want to see,” Abreu said.

“Programs ideas come from the students,” Rogers said. “They give us ideas want and we try to find a way to make it work.”

The university is constantly adapting to fit the needs of the student body, Abreu said. But we don’t know what we don’t know unless students come to us, she said.

“I’d love to see more contract student,” Rogers said. Put yourself out there, email us, and let us know in advance what events you would like to participate in, said Rogers.

“I will keep a contact log. I am always looking for students who can do stuff,” Abreu said. “I want students to have a good experience. I’m never against contract. Especially with students anytime I can help a student that’s the goal.”

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