A record number of students applied for summer assistant positions with GW Housing Programs, marking the fifth consecutive year applications have increased.
The increase prompted housing to expand the program by four students after 366 students applied for 29 summer positions.
Summer assistants are required to work an average of 23 hours per week in the housing office on Foggy Bottom, or an average of 26 hours per week in the Mount Vernon Campus office. The assistants coordinate students and guests living in residence halls for the summer, distributing access cards and responding to resident concerns, according to the GW Housing Programs website.
“The summer assistant position is so attractive because we really make it flexible,” said Associate Director of GW Housing Programs Harry Knabe. “How we schedule and go about staffing allows students to maximize what they want to do.”
Knabe attributes the 22-person increase to word-of-mouth, as students who worked as summer assistants during past summers told their friends about the position.
“We want students to work with us, and we then allow them the flexibility to do other things, like internships, with their summers,” Knabe said. “A lot of students that have worked for us have had this experience, and then tell their friends about it. We want this to be a valuable experience to them, not just an inroad to free housing.”
The position pays $8.25 an hour and gives students free housing.
Sophomore Jessica Carson was hired as a summer assistant last year. She continued to work for housing during the academic year, and was hired for a summer position again for 2011. She was first attracted to the position because it offered free housing in D.C.
“Before I worked for housing, my main intention was to find a job that would allow me to stay here over the summer. After working as a summer assistant last year, it totally became something far more than just living for free in D.C.,” Carson said.
Carson said she thinks the increase in applications is due to several variables.
“I think over the past five years or so D.C. has become known as a great place for young people,” Carson said. “I think it is a mix of this and of people becoming more money-conscious. Their parents are not willing to pay thousands of dollars for their child to go to an internship three times a week.”