Residence hall staff works extra hours for protests

GW residence hall employees took on duties last week that aren’t exactly in their job descriptions.

Extra shifts and hours taken on by community facilitators because of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings caused some difficulty and inconvenience but may have been necessary for the safety of campus residents, some CFs said.

It’s understandable, but it sucks, a CF in Thurston Hall who wished to remain anonymous said. But (GW administrators) have been more than reasonable (about letting us leave).

He said extra weekend duties included signing out, leaving a contact number before leaving their assigned building and extra rounds. CFs also were not allowed to leave town for the weekend. All residence hall security desks maintained round-the-clock posts, he said, which forced Thurston Hall CFs to take shifts at other buildings.

CFs weren’t the only university employees affected by the University’s weekend precautions. A Thurston Hall office assistant, who also wished to remain anonymous, said she had been working graveyard shifts all week.

The community hosts had to work extra hours, too, she said. We covered 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. shifts all week. Usually, only a University police officer watches the desk during those hours, the office worker said. She helped check GWorld identification cards and made sure entrants were residents of the building.

The only problem that there’s been is people getting into the building, the Thurston CF said during the protest Sunday. He said security officials were worried about tear gas, among other possible side-effects, from protests on 19th Street.

I think the precautions are necessary today, and maybe tomorrow, he said. Right now, it’s really calm, but we don’t know how it’s going to get.

Many student workers said the extra safety measures, which began April 8 for CFs and April 10 for office assistants, were not necessary all week.

Maybe Thursday they could have started, the CF said. It’s been getting a lot more hectic since Thursday.

The extra safety measures are scheduled to end at least by Tuesday, said another CF who wished to remain anonymous. We have extra people at the front desks until Tuesday, the CF said.

Students said the extra duties infringed on their rights.

What if I wanted to protest? the Thurston Hall CF said. I didn’t, but what if I did – it would be a restriction on my freedom of speech. What are we going to do? Our job is to build the community, not protect the community.

Others also said they wouldn’t have participated in the protest if they could have.

I would have maybe watched, but I wouldn’t have gotten too close, one CF said.

She said most were more understanding of the safety measures as the weekend went on.

We were a little wary about having extra responsibilities, she said. We knew we wouldn’t be getting paid, no matter how much we asked. But now that we’re actually doing it, it’s a lot more understandable.

Others felt the precautions were in the best interest of resident safety.

I think that our primary concern is residents, and that they know what is going on and how to protect themselves, as well as our own safety, said another CF.

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