According to r/JMU subreddit, an email asking current JMU employees to fill the role of a dining hall monitor was sent out to JMU employees on Sep. 28. The email was then leaked to the public on the subreddit two hours later.
The email was sent by JMU’s associate vice president, Tawana Moore, who explained the plans for implementing this role. She said in the email that dining hall monitors will supervise students to make sure they’re following COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing masks and social distancing guidelines.
“We wanted to be available to help students remember the importance of wearing masks when they are not eating,” Moore said.
According to the email, employees that are interested in this position have the option to sign up via Google Docs to monitor dining areas around campus such as E-Hall, D-Hall and Dukes Dining. Those selected will be able to work two hours at a time Monday through Sunday. Hours as a dining hall monitor will count as work time but can’t exceed 40 hours a work week. Any employee is eligible including ones that are eligible for overtime and ones that aren’t.
Employees in the administration and finance team have volunteered to become dining hall monitors for the first four weeks of school after returning to in-person classes on Oct. 5.
“We asked for volunteers within our Division and people were nice enough to help,” Moore said.
Reddit users have expressed their opinions about this decision in the comment section of the posted email screenshot.
“We’re going back to 1st grade,” one user said. “Why haven’t they sent this out to parents? I mean our parents were lunch moms/monitors in elementary school. Why not now?” user potatofilosopher said.
Another user, littlemiss142, who claims to work elsewhere as a dining hall manager, held a different approach.
“I work at a different Aramark account as a dining hall manager and we’re doing the same thing. It’s actually helped a lot,” littlemiss142 said.
Sorayah Melendez, a freshman social work major, spoke on JMU’s decision to implement dining hall monitors. She said she agreed that this could be a good thing, although she feels it is a bit “strange” and “weird” to feel watched while she’s eating.
“I think that this could be a really good reminder just for everybody just to stay safe and stop the spread,” Melendez said. “Whether they are intentionally or unintentionally not wearing their mask or social distancing.”
“We sincerely believe this effort will help keep our students, staff, and faculty safe,” the email said.
Contact Maggie Rickerby at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more coverage of JMU and Harrisonburg news, follow the news desk on Twitter @BreezeNewsJMU.