By Phoebe Roe
Four student managerial positions at the Kenyon Athletic Center (KAC) will be eliminated over the course of the current semester in order to increase the hours of Kenyon’s full-time assistant coaches.
“Everyone wants to be full time, everyone wants to get benefits, everyone wants to be paid more,” said Steve Gruenberg, assistant coach for the football and baseball teams. “You might be able to hold on to coaches a little bit longer if you can pay them a little bit more.”
By Phoebe Roe
Most assistant coaches are paid for six months of employment, and many choose to either find alternative employment for half of the year, or move on to other coaching jobs at different schools. This leads to a regular rotation of new assistant coaches, which can be problematic as student athletes and assistant coaches attempt to build relationships.
Assistant coaches have many jobs at the KAC, but their most important is working closely with student athletes when coaches cannot. “We have [a student to] professor ratio that’s 10 to 1 here, and we have a coach who often deals with these athletes more than any professor, and he’s at a 40 to 1 ratio,” said Justin Newell, assistant director of athletics and director of the KAC.
With the change in employment, there will be five student managers rather than nine. The hours that would have gone to the four student managers will go to assistant coaches to help them stay for the full year.
“We justify adding those positions, [coaches] becoming full time, because we won’t need those student managers anymore,” Newell said, referring to the increased functions the assistant coaches will take on in the absence of the student managers.
Though the change will allow for more consistency as far as assistant coaches are concerned, it will cut down on available student jobs.
The student-manager program started roughly four years ago and has grown to be a competitive position, and will continue to be even more so now that fewer positions are available. When hiring a KAC manager, Newell says he looks for students who know the building well and are willing and capable to lead and direct their peers.
“You’re responsible for the whole building on your shift,” said Nate Lotze ’14, a student manager at the KAC for the past two years.
Along with closing the KAC every night, student managers make sure other KAC employees come in on time, oversee all cleaning jobs and contact the proper individuals to handle any emergencies that may arise. “Really, it’s their show to run,” Newell said.
Student managers have more responsibility than desk workers, and are paid roughly three dollars more per hour, approximately $10.50.
As well as being an important position at the KAC, the student manager position offers a leadership position for students, a valuable asset for a résumé.
“I think that’s something that can provide valuable experience and skills for students, and it’s a way to move up the ladder to more of a leadership capacity,” Lotze said. “If it disappeared completely, that would be a little disappointing.”
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