Importance of event staff

It seems as if everyone on campus has had at least one encounter with the brightly attired members of the St. John’s University Event Management Staff (EMS). The staff’s yellow uniforms have become synonymous with the many events that are held at the university. However, most students relate their presence to something else: annoyance. The general opinion of the cadets, as they are officially called, is that they are an ever present nuisance on campus making life difficult for students with unnecessary rules and illogical solutions. It is quite unfortunate that so many students feel this way considering the fact that the members of the staff have no control over the majority of the tasks that they do.

The EMS cadets and the Operations Managers who instruct and supervise them aren’t necessarily big decision makers. Their basic purpose is to carry out the procedure and protocol of the university to ensure that all events are safe and run smoothly. The simple tasks that are often asked of them are only made difficult by the fact that many students choose not to comply with the staff’s requests. Students frequently respond negatively when they are asked to leave Marillac or the University Center in preparation for an event. Some people have even refused to leave. These gestures are usually met by cadets with confusion since they are only trying to do their jobs.
The Event Management Staff is responsible for setting up for all events held in the University Center and is often sent to monitor both the Marillac and Montgoris dining halls. They become an even more crucial part of the university when large events, particularly concerts, are held at St. John’s.

Recently, when students packed Carnassecca Arena to see the Gym Class Heroes perform as part of the Verizon Wireless Campus Tour, the cadets faced probably their most difficult day ever. Some cadets showed up as early as 11 a.m. the day of the concert to double as the stage crew for the concert. You read that correctly. All the lights, speakers and even the huge projector that was erected behind the stage was brought in and set up by the cadets of the Event Management Staff. The grueling process lasted late into the afternoon, ending just in time for the cadets to receive their positions from their Operations Managers and begin working the actual concert. A few short hours after setting up for the concert, the same cadets were in front of the doors of Carnesecca dealing with unruly and even occasionally drunk students who insisted on giving them a hard time, often about situations that are out of their control.

One would think that it doesn’t take long to realize that re-entry is not allowed at St. John’s concerts, but surprisingly students are baffled each time they are told that “all exits are final” when they attempt to leave. Similarly, there is a policy at events in the Marillac Auditorium where bags are not allowed inside, yet there is always at least one person who is very perturbed about having to drop his bag off back in the dorm after being denied entrance. This type of behavior is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the disrespect that the staff gets nearly on a daily basis. They are often told that their job is easy, and that they really don’t do anything.

However, it can be assured that going to an event at St. John’s without the EMS staff would not be a pleasant experience. The structure and order that they offer to events is invaluable to the school and undoubtedly underappreciated by the students. All this being said, maybe we should give them a break. After all, they are only trying to do their job.