Rain or shine, the Marist Athletics event staff is prepared for anything.
The event staff is responsible for ensuring games at Marist run smoothly, as they facilitate nearly every behind-the-scenes aspect of Marist athletic events. With a maximum capacity of 5,000 at Tenney Stadium and 3,200 at McCann Arena, the staff is a critical part of the operation.
There are 23 Division I sports at Marist and each type of sporting event requires the staff to perform different tasks. The event staff’s responsibilities range from stadium security, retrieving stray balls on the sidelines, keeping score, working in the box office, dealing with ticket sales, welcoming fans and much more.
No matter the job, each event staff employee plays an integral role. Lea Morlock ‘23 has been on the event staff for all four years she has attended Marist. Her experience allows her to assume all responsibilities while upholding the standards and professionalism her role requires.
“I think the people who work events are very responsible,” Morlock said. “We all are willing to work together to help create a fun atmosphere for fans and a safe atmosphere for the athletes.”
A great deal of time and effort goes into perfecting the gameday atmosphere. The staff spends anywhere from three to seven hours at a game, with the longest events being football games.
Staff members start by arriving at the game one hour early to set everything up. The setup includes preparing the field, organizing the press box and ushering in fans. After the game, the staff takes anywhere from one to three hours to break everything down. The breakdown includes cleaning up garbage, gathering equipment and returning it to the storage shed and answering any questions from students or fans.
“I think sometimes people don’t realize that this is a paid position. It is a bit more intensive than I think people realize with having to get here so early…It takes a lot of effort,” Morlock said.
This effort extends beyond arriving early and staying late; the event staff is also required to work in any and all weather conditions. While fans and students are comfortable and away from inclement weather, the staff’s employees perform their responsibilities regardless of outside conditions.
Event staff employee Olivia Zykoff ‘23 has had numerous experiences working outdoor games in adverse weather conditions.
“I always get caught working games when the weather is poor. It’s always cold and rainy whenever I work soccer, but it’s fun,” Zykoff said.
Technical issues present yet another obstacle for staff members to contend with, as problems sometimes arise when students are working the scoreboard or radioing up to the press box. Another key aspect of the job, guiding fans to their seating area, can also be a hassle when the number of fans outweighs the number of event staff workers.
No matter the issue, the event staff makes sure to take care of anything and everything in as timely a manner as possible.
“We just want to make sure everyone’s happy and that everything runs smoothly,” event staff employee Tyler Staszsak ‘24 said.
While the job calls for long hours and can be stressful at times for the students involved, it pays off through the exclusive experiences it provides. Event staff employees enjoy the perks of having a front-row seat at Marist games, working with ESPN, helping their community and collaborating with fellow students.
The time and effort the staff has put into their work is not overlooked by the Marist community.
“We’ve had many parents come in and be like ‘Wow, you guys are so organized for a small school! You really know what you’re doing,’” Morlock said. “Everyone is here in their uniforms. We’re all required to wear khakis and polos and we all look professional. Parents come in and say that they’ve never seen this for a small school.”
Edited by Isabella Cicinelli and Luke Sassa
Photo Credit: Luke Sassa