24 Hour Student Union Operation?

5 Replies

24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by Michael Odojewski on Jan 4, 2018 6:25 pm

Here at the Univeristy at Buffalo I am trying to benchmark how many Student Unions are open 24 hours during the semester?  I have seen that most close at 12:00am 

If you are open 24 hours, do you staff it during those times and with how many staff?  Professional or Student?  Different pay scale for those times? 

Michael Odojewski
Assocaite Director for Student Unions
Universtiy at Buffalo
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Re: 24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by Jessica Wilson on Jan 5, 2018 11:25 am

Hi Michael,

While we do keep our entire Union open 24 hours a day, we do have a section of the building that stays open around the clock. This section includes our 24-hour computer lounge and our student organization suite.

Any current student can swipe into out north set of doors using their student ID and then swipe again in the the computer lounge. As for the student org suite, only student organization leadership team members with official offices in the suite can swipe into that space as it is seperate from the computer lounge. 

We do not staff that section of the building ad the larger portion of the Union is closed. I hope this information is helpful!

Jessica Wilson
Assistant Director, Operations

Re: 24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by Brandon Clinton on Jan 8, 2018 10:27 am

Hi Michael,

Here at Merrimack College, we  keep our Campus Center open 24/7  during the semesters. We have student building managers from 7:30AM-11:30PM and 2 full time professionals who split up the overnights for the week. They cover 11:30PM-7:30AM, and are on solo most nights. We have them doubled up on nights our campus pub is open ( Thurs-Sat). In the event that the college needs to close due to a weather emergency, they are considered essential personnel, however there have bene instances where they were unable to make it in due to road conditions, and we would ask our student building managers to cover the hours.  They view an overnight shift as a rite of passage ( atleast the first time they have to work one,) and have been generally excited to see a different part of our operation. 

During non-academic periods, we only have the Campus Center open during regular business hours Mon-Fri.

I hope this helps!

Brandon Clinton
Office Manager, Sakowich Campus Center 
Merrimack College
North Andover, MA

Re: 24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by John Payne on Jan 9, 2018 12:32 pm

Hi Michael,

At UC San Diego we keep a large part of our Union open 24/7 Mon-Thur.  On Fri, Sat and Sun we close at 12am.  The section we keep open has computer lab, study spaces, lounge spaces,dining space and Burger King which stays open 24 hours.  Working with Campus PD we hire a Community Service Officer (student job) from 11pm - 7am to monitor this area.  In addition we have a custodial team (1 supervisor and 5 custodians) on duty from 10pm - 6:30pm.  The Supervisor serves as the facility liaison should any challenges arise during the late night hours.  We narrow down to two entrances to this area and you must have student ID to access between 11pm - 6:30am.  This area of our facility also has a large number of security cameras for recording purposes, but not for monitoring.  Historically we see drop off in activity after 2am and almost no activity between 4am - 6:30am.  We are required to keep portion of facility open 24 hours per the language of our fee referendum.  

All the best,

John Payne
Associate Director
UC San Diego - University Centers

Re: 24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by Kirsten Stava on Jan 10, 2018 9:56 am

Hi Michael,
At the Titan Student Union, CSUF, we are only open 24 hours during the last two weeks of each semester. For that time period, we do pay a higher rate for the student employees between the hours of midnight and 5am and we keep a full-time staff member on-site until 4am- the next full-time staff member comes in at 6am. Beginning next academic year, we will only be open 24 hours during finals week. 
In the past, we had a study hall program, which kept portions of the building open until 2am throughout the semester. Student building managers supervised the space and the custodial crew had a schedule which worked around the areas.
Our decision to end the study hall program and to reduce the All Night Study offerings is strongly tied to our library's new hours. They have radically modernized and changed their operations model, which includes extended operating hours. We had seen a marked decrease in the number of students in the building after midnight, as many went back to the dorms or to the library. It no longer made sense financially or logistically for us to remain open so late.

Hope this helps,
Kirsten Stava
Operations Manager, Titan Student Union 

Re: 24 Hour Student Union Operation?

Posted by Lincoln Walburn on Jan 11, 2018 1:40 pm

Hey Michael,

At Miami Univeristy, the Armstrong Student Center is open 24/7 from the weekend before classes start each semester through the end of exam week. During off peak times we have different hours, mostly 8a-8p every day, but there are exceptions. Our facility closes for the Thanksgiving holiday during the fall semester and we reduce hours to 8a-5p during Spring Break. Otherwise we are open. 

As far as staffing, I have students that staff the building 24/7. There are always 2 students at the desk with the exception of 2 hours throughout the day. We have an Ambassador position whose primary responsibility is to man our information desk, answer the phone and log lost and found items. That person works 7am-11pm daily in 2 hour shift blocks. The other individual at the desk is the Building Manager whose responsibility is to walk around each hour and take counts of the use of the facility as well as help groups get into rooms when they have events or lock themselves out of our study rooms. This is the individual who works 24/7 with 2 hour shifts from 6am-8pm, a 4-hour shift from 8p-12a and 2 people that work from midnight - 6am each day. My students don't seem to mind the overnight shift as it gives them an opportunity to get some homework done or catch up on some Netflix. Granted they are still required to take counts each hour as well as clean study rooms during the night. And by cleaning, it means to wipe down tables, straighten chairs, wipe off glass/whiteboards and vaccuum. 

At 11 pm, the entry points for the building drops from 6 to 2, so that we know which doors students will enter. We have a diner that is also open 24 hours a day, so it is the only source of food throughout the nights and this is where students come when they need a late night snack, or are leaving the bars from uptown, which is Oxford proper. The students rarely have issues overnights, but we have had some issues during the weekend nights (Thursday-Saturday) and due to this, we have worked with our Univeristy Police Department who provide an officer from midnight to 4 am these nights to help protect our students and our building. Even though we drop down to 2 entry points, the entirity of our facility is open 24 hours. Students can access thier student offices if they have been given access to do so on thier student IDs, and students can also reserve one of the 18 study rooms that we have in the facility overnight. 

We have rules against sleeping in the facility and our students know to wake people up who are sleeping, and if someone does not listen or cannot be woken up, then we call the police and let them deal with the students. 

As far as pay, our students currently make $8.50 and hour, but that is going to shift slightly with the minimum wage in Ohio going up. If the students work at least 7 overnight shifts thorughout the semester, and yes I have some that work 0-2, then they get a bonus at the end of the semester. That bonus is $0.75 per hour that they worked thorughout the entire semester. This past semester (Fall 2017), the largest bonus was $227.8 for a student who worked a total of 303.82 hours. 19 of my 23 students received the bonus, totalling and additional $2241. 

The last thing I would like to point out is that the students are just left alone. There are 5 salaried staff members in our office and we have a duty rotation. What this means is from Monday-Sunday one of us is "on-call" and can be called if there are any issues that the students may need assistance with. The staff are provided a phone stipend of $50-65 since we are on call and use our personal cell phones for this duty. Additionally, there are other managers (who don't report to our department) who are in the facility overnight, such as a dining manager and a couple of custodian managers rotate out throughout the week and they all get to know the student workers. 

The bottom line with all of this is that if we did not have a 24/7 dining option in our building, the number of people in the facility would be 0 and would not rate being open 24/7. If there is any data that you would like to see since we opened, I am more than happy to share it with you, please just send me an email and I'd be more than happy to share. 

Hope this all helps with your research,
Lincoln Walburn
Associate Director, ASC