Students explore summer living options

Students explore summer living options

by Vista Kalipa

Finding a place to live and a place to work over the summer are among the many concerns that students have as the school year inches its way closer to the end.

“I’m thinking of doing Summer Orientation to the large influx of students who visit campus over the summer,” said freshman Ben Thompson. “I am also hoping to work as a counselor at a summer jazz camp that Simpson hosts.”

Simpson College offers a variety of job opportunities to students who want to live and work on campus over the summer. Some students find these opportunities to be very helpful and very rewarding, especially when the job has a link to the student’s chosen career.

“Since I am pursuing a career in education, I found the Bridge Program to be a very rewarding experience for me because I got to work as a tutor/mentor to kids who are planning on going to college in the fall,” said junior Ryan Gratz.

The Bridge Program is one of the programs that brings big groups of students to Simpson during the summer. These students are usually juniors and seniors from various high schools who plan on attending college after graduation.

According to Gratz, the program helps the students in preparing for college and teaches them the kind of self-discipline and responsibility they need for college.

“They take classes and get to experience what college life and living on campus is like,” said Gratz.

Another job opportunity Simpson offers is an assistantship with summer conferences. This particular program is facilitated by Marilyn Johnson, summer conference director and Laurie Dienberg-Hoppe, summer conference housing director.

“We offer this job to six Simpson students and they will be working with all different groups that come to campus,” said Dienberg-Hoppe.

According to junior Ann Swenson, former summer conference staff, they assisted several groups including: the National Balloon Classic, Elder Hostel, Orpheus Music Camp and Des Moines Metro Opera.

Working with such a diversity of groups provides the conference assistants with a chance to enhance their professional skills.

“The groups are usually fun and we get to improve on our organizational and interpersonal communication skills,” said Swenson. “It also equips us with a sense of responsibility and ownership.”

Housing is less of a concern for students who work on campus, but it remains a concern for those who work off-campus.

Students who work on campus get a discount.

“The rate is $6 a night for those who work on campus more than 30 hours a week and $12 a night for those working less than 30 hours a week,” said Dienberg-Hoppe.

Housing tends to be an even bigger concern for students who don’t work or live on campus. Most students are concerned about finding an inexpensive three month lease.

“A three month lease is just too hard to find and to get the kind of place you want, you have to start looking really early otherwise you’ll end up living in unpleasant conditions, like my apartment last summer,” said junior Pete Rowles.

Rowles is one of the many students who prefers working off-campus because opportunities are much more diverse and the payment rate is usually more pleasing.

Another advantage that students find from living off-campus is working for a company that provides housing for its employees.

Des Moines Metro Opera is one of the companies that employs Simpson students and provides housing for them.

“I’ll be working as an Assistant Stage Manager for DMMO, which I will gain a lot of experience from, but the great perk of the job is that I don’t have to stress out about finding a place to live, because it is provided for me,” said sophomore Drew Duncan.

To eliminate all the housing fuss and hassle, some students decide to go back to their home towns and work there. Living at home with their parents saves them money because they don’t have to pay housing fees.