HRL revamps Desk Service Coodinator policies

Sean Fahey, Contributing Writer

Most Tulane students, and certainly those who live on campus, interact with DSCs (Desk Service Coordinators) every day. They watch over our lobbies, keep the dorms safe, let desperate kids in bathrobes back into their rooms, and much more.

Harley Hines, a DSC in Monroe Hall, explains a usual day on the job.

“I always show up to my shift. Have to clock in,” Hines said. “Making sure the desk area is clean, keeping track of the RA on duties phones, the keys for the building. After that, it’s just taking care of things as they come up. Sometimes I don’t have to do hardly anything.”

But in a dorm hall such as Monroe, where over 500 kids live, often times issues do arise. When trouble occurs in the lobby, the DSCs play a role in mediating the situation and keeping the dorms safe.

“My primary job is to maintain the security and safety of Monroe and it’s residents,” Hines said.

This year, Housing & Residential Life changed the policies surrounding DSCs to heighten their focus on security. Housing declined to comment on the policy changes and stated they were unaware of an official policy surrounding DSCs this year.

In past years, DSCs rented out assets, items such as cookware and DVD movies, to residents for use. The increasing emphasis on DSCs as a security position has lead to the phasing out of these secondary responsibilities.

“In previous years, there used to be what we called assets behind the desk,” Hines said. “That was a bigger part of DSCs in the past and that’s kinda phasing out now. Now it is mostly security and making sure that people get into their rooms.”

When asked if he thought that the phasing out of these amenities was due to the increased security focus, Mr. Hines agreed.

This refocus has also lead to changes in what DSCs are permitted to do personally behind the desk. DSCs are now only allowed to use laptops past midnight until the early hours of the morning because of the attention necessary to keep track of all the people who pass through the lobby. To Housing, DSCs play a crucial security role in dorm life, Mr. Hines comments, “Housing as a whole views the DSCs as an area where they can improve on security because we’re the only people that see everyone coming in and out. Our RAs on duty don’t see that. We’re the only people who can feasibly keep track of that.”

The security shift hasn’t been without turbulence, however. During the first few weeks of school, the front desk was totally unoccupied at times due to DSCs who “quit last minute”, “never showed up”, and “for some reason people just weren’t working the desk.” Luckily, dorms have solved the scheduling issues and DSCs can faithfully watch over our lobbies.

This important job does have its rewards, though. DSCs get paid to make sure no students get hurt and get to do homework and read in their down time. Mr. Hines loves his job for its communal aspects, “It’s something that gives you more of a connection. I like meeting the people that come by like the RAs and the freshman that live in Monroe.”

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