Student workers keep MU working at full capacity

Andrew Roth

Contributing Writer

Imagine Millersville University as a body.  Its administration is the brain, guiding the actions of the university as a whole.  The departments are the school’s hands and feet, providing education to every attending student and carrying us to new academic heights.  Finally, we have the supporting workforce – employees that serve a logistical, tangible, and auxiliary role in the daily operations required to keep a university running smoothly.  This workforce is the lifeblood of MU, and without them the entire organization would grind to a halt.

Many of these essential employees are student workers, giving up free time and study sessions to support the school for, in many cases, minimum wage pay.

Senior geography student Zach Moore of Hanover, Pa. is one such student. With a focus in geospatial applications, Moore’s work experience was as a lab assistant with the geography department’s geospatial lab in McComsey Hall.  His responsibilities included cleaning the lab, keeping account of students using the facility, and reporting any major technical issues to the IT department.  Although Moore was only able to work for the lab during the fall semester of 2015, his time there had a massive impact on the geography department.

Over 1,500 students are employed with the University each semester. Photo courtesy of Andrew Roth.
Over 1,500 students are employed by the University each semester. Photo courtesy of Andrew Roth.

Millersville University is home to a United States Geological Survey (USGS) federal repository.  This means that among the thousands of maps in the geography department’s library, there are hundreds that are held for the government agency in the event that they should ever be needed.

It was during the fall semester of 2015 that the lab assistants undertook the major project of taking inventory of the entire map library with the goal of transferring all of the physical maps to the McNairy Library.  The project is ongoing, as the size of the library requires a considerable time commitment to fully inventory.

“It’s a big thing,” Moore said of his experience on the project. “In any field, where you’re managing data you should be able to know how to [manage data professionally].”

Junior communication major Dominique Bradford of West Philadelphia has worked for the University admissions office for two years.  Her responsibilities include data entry, and potential student interaction.  When Bradford isn’t digitizing student university applications, she’s brushing  up on application archives to support the office’s push towards an eco-friendly admissions system.

“During the fall and summer are our busiest times,” Bradford explained. “It’s not only freshman who are applying; it’s [also] transfer students and second degree students.”

Bradford originally found the position through a Millersville summer academic program. She values her work environment for its flexibility and tolerance for the students’ academic time constraints.

In total, according to career services, Millersville employs over 1500 student workers each semester, providing the university with essential support, organization, and revenue.  Similar to how America’s workforce keeps the nation’s economy alive, our students keep the Millersville body operating at full capacity.  Without them, our university could never have become the institution that it is today.