posted 2012-03-07 19:22:59

A Day in the Life

What’s it like to be a West Lobby worker?

Duwa Alebdy, Staff Writer

Hunter College is filled with countless individuals who play a role in making sure everything runs smoothly. Most students walk past security, faculty, cafeteria workers and maintenance staff without taking a moment to consider what a day in the life of those workers is like. This column will take you into the life of people employed in various positions throughout hunter, one job at a time.

Munmun Habib worked in the West Lobby for over a year. She started as a Visitor Center Associate and also worked with the OneCard Office. Though she is no longer working there, she was glad to give insight on what day to day life is like for a West Lobby employee.

Every day Habib answered telephone inquiries and issued temporary printed passes to the students who forgot their IDs. She greeted new students during

Welcome Week and tried to make them feel a part of the Hunter College family. She provided everyone who came to her with directions around Hunter’s labyrinthine campus. She assisted students by directing them to different departments depending on their needs. She acted as a veritable fountain of information regarding services available at Hunter, not to mention the various events occurring every week. These are just a few of the duties relegated to a Hunter West lobby worker.

Despite all of these duties, Habib emphasized that her job came back to the same few general questions people asked consistently:

“What is the policy to bring a friend to Hunter College?” If the student is from a CUNY school, they can just show their ID to a Public Safety Officer or a Visitor Center Associate. If they are not, they will have to go to the front desk and speak with a Visitor Center Associate.

“Is the Bookstore open? Can I use it if I’m a visitor?” The Bookstore is only open to Hunter students and their parents, faculty, staff and alumni. Other CUNY students and faculty can also use the Bookstore.

“I’m a visitor, can I use the Restroom?” Hunter College recently became a closed campus and visitors are not allowed to use the restroom unless they are attending an event on Hunter premises.

Habib stressed that the workload got increasingly intense over the year that she worked there. As the semesters progressed, students forgot their IDs more often, a huge amount of local and international visitors came in to get information, private events happened every week, and a lot of students visited Hunter for test preparation – all of these were interactions she had to handle. “This is not a relaxed job,” Habib said, “and a good level of professionalism has to be maintained because [these workers] are the bridge between Hunter College and its community.”

For Habib, the craziest lobby experience was when a visitor became extremely irate with her for taking his picture in order for her to print him a hall pass. According to this visitor, this violated his rights. Unfortunately, Habib said that she and her fellow colleagues have encountered many incidents where the students and faculty were extremely rude to them, as if they were not a part of the Hunter community.

Habib, and surely her ex-coworkers, wanted the Hunter community to know that, “most of the workers are students and go through the same problems as everyone else. They are more aware of the needs people might have and are always ready to help out.” Habib stressed that people should not hesitate in asking questions, but to do so with a smile on their face. Visitor Center Associates try to provide as much information as they can, so stop by and explain your situation to them. They’ll be more than happy to help you out.