For the second consecutive year, the Harre Union’s student employment program was recognized by American College Unions International (ACUI) for Outstanding Staff Development Program.
This recognition honors events, programs, or ongoing initiatives aimed at building a team atmosphere, appreciating the efforts of staff members, encouraging ongoing recognition of others, or intentionally providing opportunities for team growth and development. Student employees of the Harre Union are able to grow as individuals and as team members thanks to its award-winning programming.
“We believe working in the Harre Union is more than just a job where you clock in, clock out, and get paid,” says Ryan Bye, associate director of the Harre Union, student activities, and conferences and events. “All those things happen, but we also aim to provide student employees with multiple opportunities for training, mentorship, relationship-building, and personal and professional skill development.”
With semester training and evaluations and bi-weekly staff meetings, professional and supervisory staff have numerous opportunities to check in with student employees. In addition to these workplace practices, monthly all-staff meetings focus on different core competencies and team-building activities to help student employees personally and professionally. Meetings range from department presentations from areas across campus to murder mystery scenarios and omelet making competitions.
From employee of the month to annual awards, there are several methods that recognize the hard work and success of the student staff. Student employees also have opportunities to advance within staff positions including a leadership group, the Employee Development Team. The group, made up of one student employee from every area of the Harre Union, helps lead the all-staff meetings and other fun and engaging recognition programs.
Rachel Winkler ’21, a social work major, is a student employee working as a Harre Union welcome desk lead. She also serves as chair of the Employee Development Team.
“When I first applied to be a welcome desk attendant, I was just looking to make a couple extra dollars. Working in the Harre Union has turned into a much more enriching experience than I thought it would be,” Winkler said. “The professional staff instills in us from the beginning that this is going to be more than a job. It is an experiential learning opportunity about what a workplace should be like.”
During her years working in the Harre Union, Winkler has developed skills and grown in areas of customer service, critical thinking, technology, facility management, and leadership. “I have learned how to be a better meeting facilitator, public speaker, and more capable of communication and execution because of this job,” she said. “Most importantly I am more prepared to be part of a team.”