Behind the Scenes of Late Night at the Student Union

Georgina Mordo, junior majoring in special education, describes her work experience at Late Night in the Student Union. (Zhelun Lang/Daily Campus)

Most students can say that they’ve experienced the Student Union’s Late Night at least once, but not many can say they have worked it. Georgina Mordo, a sixth-semester special education major, is one who can.

“I’m a Team Captain, so I’m like a manager,” Mordo said. “It’s kinda like a retail job except without the cash registers.”

Mordo is one of three Team Captains on the Late Night staff of 13 workers. On any given Late Night, students can find two of the Team Captains and eight of the workers in the Union.

“We come in at 6:30 p.m. to set up, and everyone else comes in at 7:30 p.m.,” Mordo said. “Everybody works from 7:30 p.m. until we get done around 2 a.m..”

As Team Captain, Mordo assigns workers to their stations to the night, as well as team bonding events.

“I make the nightly schedule,” Mordo said. “I’ve learned what people like, don’t like, and where they want to be.”

Several of the workers prefer not to be placed at the arts and crafts table, due both to the mess and the small size of the room. Others had mentioned to her the difficulties of the popular photo ceramics.

As the semester advances, Late Night attendance slows down, decreasing the amount of work required of the student workers. Mordo uses the team’s walkie-talkies to keep up moral throughout the night.

“I tell jokes, and chat over them,” Mordo said. “Halfway [through the night] we switch so it’s not like you’re doing the same thing the whole night.”

The team considers themselves a family who get together outside of work as well.

“It’s kind of like a party when we set up, it’s pretty fun, we’re all just hanging out, chatting,” she said. “Same when we clean up — we clean up in groups so it’s like we have the beginning fun, the middle fun, and the end fun, so it’s not too bad.”

The possibility of worker turnover occurs every semester. It can be considered a relatively fluid job. Mordo herself is resigning at the end of the semester.

“At the end of both semesters they ask if you want to come back,” Mordo said. “I know I’m leaving because I’m a special education major, and I have a lot of heavy teaching to do from now on. I don’t want it to get in the way of academics.”

Five positions, including Mordo’s Team Captain position, were posted on the university’s student job site. The openings had been advertised in the Daily Digest. Since the initial posting, the application has been taken down for next semester.

“It helps you learn teamwork, motivation, discipline,” Mordo said. “It’s definitely a great experience.”


Sarah McNeal is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at sarah.mcneal@uconn.edu.