WooCorps weathers current economic storm

In an effort to take charge during the beginning of a depressed period in terms of the economy, the College of Wooster established WooCorps.

WooCorps is the name of the summer work program offered at the College this past summer. The aim of the program was to provide summer employment opportunities for students at the College who may have been struggling to find summer jobs during the current economic crisis. Its name, WooCorps, is derived from the Civilian Conservation Corps of the í30s to which the school pays homage.

The masterminds who conceived this concept last March are Dean of Students Kurt Holmes and the Director of Facilities Peter Schantz. Apart from Dean Holmes and Schantz working in the forefront as part of the WooCorps Steering Committee which met weekly, Dean Holmes and Schantz got tremendous help from Assistant Vice President John Sanders, Director of Human Resources Gary Thompson, Coordinator of Student Employment Emily Seling, Director of Maintenance Operations Doug Laditka and Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Residence Life Christie Kr‰cker. Each supervisor that had student workers represented in their department gave their support, as well as the Cabinet and Board of Trustees.

After careful planning, many hours, a lot of creativity and intricate implementation of every piece of the program, it began on Monday, May 11. The planning was the key to the success of the program. The College had over 200 applicants; in the end they employed 184 students throughout the summer, who were given the opportunity to work a $7.30-per-hour job for 412 hours each in order to be compensated with a $1,000 scholarship to aid in covering for Room and Board costs. Apart from these studentsí compensations, they were also given housing, as well as breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.

There were representatives from all three upper classes, domestic and international students in the WooCorps Crew. ìEvery student who worked on campus was considered WooCorps for the most part ó we had positions in the Library, the PEC, the Garden, Facilities, with Grounds, with Custodial, with Security and in offices,” explained Kr‰cker.

The program offered many catered events throughout the summer. These included the WooCorps Kick Off Dinner, Dive-In Movie at the PEC pool, Deep Fried Friday Night, Giant Slip ín Slide, a potato bar and free laundry program in Andrews and Armington Halls, dance parties, the Summer Birthday Party for those who celebrated birthdays during the same months as WooCorps, shuttles to the north end of town on the weekends and a free Chipotle burrito day!

The crew and participants received more from the program than they had originally anticipated. ìIt was a success. It was an unbelievable success. It was an awesome opportunity. I was so excited to be a part of it,” said Kr‰cker. There was a lot of positive student, campus community and Wooster community feedback. Even before WooCorpsí conclusion on August 14 it was deemed a great program. It was even featured in USA Today along with St. Johnís University in Minnesota, which has a similar program, and in the New York Times.

ìI also think the crew members gained a new perspective on what it takes to operate a campus as well as developed a deeper connection to campus ó they put their sweat, laughter and love into this campus this summer. The crew was simply amazing. I was awed by the students this summer. Simply amazing,” said Kr‰cker.

On an even more positive note, the College is anticipating a second year of WooCorps. ìIt was an amazing summer with just a lot of hard work and fun. We culminated the program with a Campus Community day,” said Kr‰cker. ìGoogle ëWooCorpsí and see how much comes up!”