Sunday, June 1, 2008

Behind the Scenes: Crew

No look behind the scenes of Reunions would be complete without the student crews.

Tony Comunale '11, who worked the 5th Reunion, estimated that he worked more than 14 hours a day during Reunions. "We set up tables, make sure the kegs are in order, hand out P-Rade costumes, make sure beverages and food are set up," he said.

"We take care of everything you can possibly imagine for a reunion to run," added Pinto Adhola '10, who worked the 25th Reunion last year. Adhola, for example, would walk the children of 25th alumni over to McCarter Theatre for the Triangle Show and get movies for them.

Every reunion is different. Each alumni class hires a crew, usually consisting of 15-20 students, for Tuesday through Sunday. The crew sets up, cleans up and does anything in between, from serving at the bar to taking meal tickets.

Typical hours might be 8 a.m.-2:30 a.m. during Reunions weekend. "The first two days weren't very hard, but once Thursday hit it was pretty tough," Comunale said.

The salaries of student crews have been the subject of wild rumors among Princeton students. When interviewed, several crew members estimated that they would make a total of about $1,200. Base salaries were reported to be about $10 an hour, but with a bonus determined by the student crew manager and alumni organizers of up to 100 percent of the salary.

Today marked the last day of work for crews, and most of them are probably sleeping in their rooms as I write this.

As a Dining Services worker, it's easy for me to covet the bonuses given to crews. But I don't covet their job. Most of them barely slept this week, never got to go out and are walking around like zombies in orange T-shirts.

For my last Reunions post, I want to say thank you to all the students and professionals who gave Princeton one big party.