Temporary workers help in scheduling

By Steve Carasso

It’s unusual to see scores of older people on campus. It’s even more unusual when they’re all working at schedule completion.

“These people are temporary workers hired by NIU to help with the schedule completion process,” said Bruce Oates, assistant director of Registration and Records.

Although they may look like your grandparents, they’re really just friends of NIU that are willing to help out in various capacities.

Some of the workers are retired faculty members, some are spouses of retired NIU workers and some are local residents who fill the temporary positions, Oates said.

Many have been working each semester at NIU since the schedule completion process was first held at the Duke Ellington Ballroom almost 20 years ago, Oates said.

Although Oates declined to comment on how much these temporary workers get paid, he said they earn their money.

“It’s a stressful situation for them (the workers),” Oates said. “They have to deal with the frustrations of students who have to wait in line and who don’t get the classes they need.”

“It’s impossible to do schedule completion without them,” Oates said. “They help the process run smoothly. They’re there to answer questions and to help with students’ problems.”

However, the recession made a dent in the number of temporaries working this semester at schedule completion. There had to be a reduction of 20 people from the fall of 1991.

Oates said he felt this had an effect on the schedule completion process. “Longer lines were generated at departmental tables because more academic departments were grouped together,” he said.

Despite the stress they may receive from students, the temporary workers are proud of what they do, Oates said.

“They’ve made my job a little easier,” he said. “They always work to the best of their abilities and they provide good assistance to the students.”