Many college students work an on-campus job or use on-campus services run by student workers each day, and the Foy Information Desk is no exception. Auburn students and alumni have long passed around rumors of what the Foy Desk does and who they are, so Foy Desk employee Lillian-Catherine Seemann offered an inside look into a student job at the Foy Information Desk.
Seemann, senior in anthropology and art history, has worked at the Foy Desk since March of her sophomore year. Seemann said the Foy Desk opens at 6 a.m. and closes at midnight, but the Foy Desk phones are not turned on until 7 a.m. During class times there are at least three students working, and when classes are finished for the day there are at least two students.
Seeman said shifts run on a rotating basis, whoever gets there first will get to leave first. After they leave their seat is taken as employees rotate throughout their shifts. Most shifts consist of helping guests with questions or setting them up in a student center room.
The Foy Desk helps to run the daily operations of the Student Center. When a student organization has reserved a room in the student center, the Foy Desk employees handle everything from signing out the rooms to making sure the rooms are properly set up.
“We have two women that are over us that work downstairs. They are the ones that make the reservations, we just manage them,” Seemann said. “So if someone comes in we are the ones that make sure it is set up properly. We’ll unlock the door, call AV tech, and if there is a maintenance issue we’ll call for that to be taken care of.”
When she is not answering the phone or walk- up questions, Seemann said she is usually studying.
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“Because of the nature of the job, I can do homework while I’m working,” Seemann said. “As long as I’m answering calls, helping guests and interacting with people that come up to the desk."
Seeman said it is more common for people to approach the desk during the morning than later in the day. She said the majority of the questions they receive are about printing on campus or fax things, notaries and where to turn in their medical forms.
In addition to the calls concerning questions, Seeman said the Foy Information Desk receives a lot less serious calls. “Unfortunately, [we get] mostly prank calls. You have to think quick on your feet. We usually don’t engage with them and just hang up.”
Seeman said there are certain calls she has learned to expect throughout her time of working there.
“We have a couple of people that we know, regularly, that call,” Seemann said. “There’s a guy that calls toward the end of the week for the local basketball scores from the high schools and there’s a group of kids that call every morning when they’re on the bus, we can expect them.”
As for game days, Seeman said they are a totally different story. While often chaotic due to a lot of people coming in from out of town who are not familiar with the area, employees often need to recommend activities in the area, places to eat or areas to stay.
Seeman said there is usually a smaller range of topics including where to park, when the game starts and what is the score.
One of Seeman's favorite parts of the job is when alumni come to the desk to reference their collection of Glomeratas. "We have Gloms behind the desk and we will have older people come and be like hey do you have a Glom for this year,” Seemann said. “We can pull it out and they can show us their composite and they’ll have their grandkids and show them what Auburn was like when they were here."
Seeman cleared up several misconceptions about the desk as she clarified that the desk is not 24 hours unless is finals week. Seemann said, “I wish people knew that we answer questions about Auburn, that’s our number one thing. I know a lot of people have been told that we answer questions about anything but we do have parameters."
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