Blue Hen Ambassador program not hiring, experiencing changes
MANAGING NEWS EDITOR
No new students will don the trademark blue polo shirts of the Blue Hen Ambassador (BHA) tour guide program this fall.
On Aug. 29, the BHA program broke tradition and announced on Facebook that this year’s application process will be held in the spring.
“…Thank you to everyone for your interest in being a Blue Hen Ambassador!” the status from the BHA coordinators read. “We have received a lot of inquiry this semester and are so appreciative! However we unfortunately will not be hiring BHA’s this semester. There will be interest meetings in the spring semester for future application cycles, though…”
Changes in the admissions office are likely at the root of this decision not to hire, junior Stephanie Yost, who has been working as a BHA since her freshman year, said.
“I know some admissions officers—two, at least—who moved on because they wanted to try something different, but I don’t know who is replacing them,” she said. “There’s definitely been changes in the admissions office in terms of who the admissions officers are.”
She said that in this transition time, perhaps the office felt it would be difficult to focus on training BHAs. The program has a pretty large staff already of around 120 BHAs, she said.
“Tour times changed, and the number [of tours] may have been cut down,” she said. “I think [admissions] wanted to make sure every current BHA was satisfied with their schedule and hours before hiring more.”
Assistant Director of Admissions Danny Barrow said there were no real changes being made, just new opportunities for people already working within admissions. He named several student programs aside from the BHAs—Diversity Enrichment Leaders, Delaware International Ambassadors, student admissions officers and the Visitor Experience Team—and said he wants to give those groups more of the positions within admissions.
“We are really looking for a shared purpose within all of our student employment committees,” he said. “We have created a Student Executive Board that is comprised of each of the coordinators of each of the groups I mentioned before, and they come together on a regular basis with the professional staff and how one committee’s area can relate to another committee’s area. It’s all about shared knowledge and shared experience.”
When asked about the rumors that BHAs would be receiving pay cuts or that the program was transitioning into a work-study position, Barrow said these were untrue. He said the program will be hiring once again in the spring.
There has been some tension as things have changed in the office, especially because BHAs felt as if they had been kept out of the loop, Yost said. However, she said she is confident that this transition ultimately will be smooth.
“I think the office regrets that they aren’t able to hire more but hopefully it means the program will be more organized and united in the future,” she said.
Barrow emphasized that at the end of the day, there would be no major changes.
“We are always committed to our goal, and that is a visitor experience second to none,” he said. “We want our visitors to have that blue hen welcome.”