On Community Engagement with Student Employees

A lot of others seem to be introducing themselves in their blog post, so I’m going to do the same. Hello! I’m Noah Wolf, a third-year journalism student from Cedar Falls, Iowa, and I’m set to graduate from Ohio University in the fall. One thing I’ve done since my freshman year that’s helped me integrate into the Athens community is work at the Golf and Tennis Center.

When I applied for the job, I had no idea where the place was or who went there. I had never heard of it. Now that I’ve worked there for more than two years, I can tell that most students still have never heard of it. The majority of the people who use our facility are community members, and many of them are OU faculty or staff.

The interior of Ohio University’s Golf and Tennis Center clubhouse. Photo by Noah Wolf

My interactions with some of our customers are brief. In particular, one tennis player walks through the door in the morning, puts $6 in cash on the counter (normally a five and a one), and says, without exception, “faculty/staff, one hour, no parking, no receipt,” preempting all the questions I have to ask, the same ones he’s heard probably a thousand times.

Other times, I have to absorb ire and frustration from the players. $24 to golf?! Sorry, man, I don’t set the prices. But here’s the business card of the person who does. Send him an email if you want. C’mon, the thunder’s not that bad. It’s dangerous, and it’s policy. I don’t make the rules. Why are the courts so hot? I don’t know, they probably left the heaters on overnight. I’ll come and turn them off for ya.

Ohio University’s golf course. Photo by Noah Wolf

But those are the exceptions. Most of my interactions are incredibly positive, and I enjoy all the players I’ve gotten to know. There’s one golfer who gets to the course before we do in the mornings (6:30 a.m. in season!) and is out golfing when we go put the pins out. Almost every day, he comes back and plays another round later in the day. There’s the group of tennis players that comes in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and we get to know each other pretty well.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is come say, “Hi!” Talk to me about high school sports or help me with the crossword.

Just don’t yell at me about the price of golf.

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