Carol Young is the Associate Director of Service Development and Operations for Residence Life and Administration. In her role, she oversees the Front Desk operations that support each of our residence communities on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

Which of your teams are currently working on-campus?

All 9 Residence Front Desks have remained open and fully operational throughout COVID-19.

How has the Front Desk team’s work changed since COVID-19?

One major change in our work is how quiet the Residence Commonsblocks have become. Typically the Commonsblocks would be buzzing with activity and residents round the clock, but now students come to the Commonsblock and the Front Desk for very specific tasks and head out right away. Everyone should be commended for cooperating with the physical distancing and “stay at home” guidelines, but it does make our workplace a much quieter place to be.

We have worked to maintain our standards of service to students as much as possible, regarding the variety of services we offer to residents. What’s changed is how we do some of those things in order to follow physical distancing guidelines.

Some of the most obvious changes for residents that you can see are physical distancing and safety measures – stanchions, floor markings, signage, employees wearing gloves, face shields, and masks.

How does it feel to be providing such important services to our residents during this time?

All of the staff at UBC who continue to come to work every day should be commended for their courage and dedication in serving the students under their care, despite concerns for their own wellbeing. We need staff on the ground to do the work we do.

And in the midst of all the strangeness in this time, the residence buildings and the staff that serve in them make these places home for all of our residents. That is so important because the residents have fears and concerns as well, and it’s critical that we do our best to keep their “home” as normal as possible, while keeping us all safe.

The Residence Front Desk staff are key in making this happen and we are so proud to be a part of it.

Is there anything in particular you and the Front Desk team have been doing to keep spirits up?

We continue to recognize and acknowledge our staff’s accomplishments with shout outs or virtual high fives to our supervisors and front desk staff, along with thank you cards and treat baskets for the desks. We do our best to answer any questions that come our way and are very transparent in our response.

We may not have all the answers to some of the challenging questions about our current situation, but we are all in this together – and keeping each other informed is so important and comforting. It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to be vulnerable and share feelings, thoughts, and concerns during this time.

What else would you like us to know about the Front Desk team?

The residence Front Desk staff are amazing people who do amazing work!