A Guide to the Front Desk: You Need It? They Have It!

Residence hall front desks are typically used for mail or packages, but the front desks offer a lot more that students often don’t know about. I worked as a front desk clerk before I was here in the marketing office, so I want to share what I’ve learned about how your hall’s front desk can enhance your resident experience. Here are some helpful items you can check out:

Kitchen Supplies
If you’ve ever wanted to cook for fun or eat something homemade, you can check out your hall’s kitchen key! The front desk has a key to your hall’s kitchenette, where you can make a homemade meal for yourself or bake something with friends.

If you don’t have cooking or baking supplies, don’t worry! You can check out pots, pans, mixing bowls, baking pans, utensils and even more kitchen items from the front desk. Bring your i-card and ask the clerk for the kitchen key and any other materials you may need.

Household Items – Tech Tools to Repair Kits
The front desk also offers typical household items that you may not have thought to pack on move-in day. For example, you can check out various tools for any D.I.Y. project. If you have a bike on campus, front desks have a bike repair kit as well as a tire pump for residents to use.

If you are hosting an RSO meeting or wanting to watch a movie with friends, check out an HDMI cord from the front desk to transfer anything from your computer to a bigger screen! Items may vary from hall to hall, but you can always ask your front desk clerk what the desk has available.

The photograph shows two front desk clerks at work in a University Housing residence hall. One is looking at a computer screen, and the other is helping a student and handing them a sheet of paper.

Keep it Clean, Stay Cool
It’s important to keep your room both clean and comfortable, and the front desk can help you do just that. As you may know, some residence halls do not have air conditioning or the temperature is not to your liking; however, your front desk has some box fans that residents may check out for as long as needed. Just make sure to return them eventually!

For keeping your space clean, the desk has a broom, dustpan and vacuum for residents to borrow. There is no need to buy these items or try to pack them before moving in. They are available to check out at any time of day.

Game Time
Lastly, the front desk can help you and your friends with fun activities for your spare time. Board games, card games and even sports equipment are all available to check out! I worked in Allen Hall, and we always had a fully stocked shelf of different games for residents to check out, ranging from typical games like Scrabble to more unusual ones such as a Twilight trivia game (I always wanted to play that one).

When the weather is warmer, the front desk has supplies for many different outdoor activities. For example, there are lots of tennis courts around campus and close to residence halls. You can check out tennis rackets from the desk and play with friends.

The front desk also has a full bags set (or cornhole) that you can bring to your hall’s courtyard or a nearby outdoor area! When your friends need something new to do, turn to your hall’s front desk!

The photograph shows a group of students posing outside and tossing a frisbee toward the camera.

There to Help
During the academic year, all front desks open at 6 a.m. and close at 3 a.m., and Nugent Hall’s is open 24/7. Items are available to check out whenever you’d like! Make sure to bring your i-card when checking out and returning items or keys and ask the front desk clerk for any assistance; they are happy to help and give you any items you may need. I may be biased as a former desk clerk, but they are all very nice!

Maximize your residence hall experience by using your front desk to its fullest potential. If it's just advice or a new key, the desk always has something to help.