Matthew Krauss, News Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last few years, the Blue & Gold Society student ambassador program has come into its own as an independent, student-run club.
Many believe that student ambassadors play one of the most visible roles in promoting Emory & Henry, even though the position is technically unpaid.
“You are the first face they see,” explained Senior Jacob Dye, a current ambassador.
Sophomore Orlando Martinez, SGA senator and another Blue & Gold ambassador, remembers the first time he gave a private tour. “I was sitting in McGlothlin-Street and someone asked me for a tour. Because of this they now attend here,” he said.
Unlike work studies, student ambassadors are unpaid volunteers. However, they do receive compensation in the form of gift cards or E&H merchandise.
Senior Admissions Counselor Carter Aylor revamped the student ambassador program in August 2014. At the time, ambassadors had no elected leaders.
Aylor said, “We wanted to make it more of a club than an organization, that people took ownership in and that we would have elected officials for.”
Today, the student ambassador program is largely independent. It applies to the SGA for its yearly budget and elected a president and vice president in December 2016.
Martinez has worked for two years as a Blue & Gold student ambassador. He was first drawn to the position when he realized his diverse past helped him when meeting and talking to people with different experiences.
He and other students are incentivized in merchandise.
“After this school year’s end I will be given a polo shirt and Columbia jacket as a reason to stay on,” Martinez explained.
Dye said shirts and jackets are given as “a uniform for ambassadors. We are allowed to keep them after our position is over.”
Being a student ambassador has many re- wards, although the hardest part, according to Martinez, is that “lots of walking [is] required.”
Ambassadors are also kept on their toes when they answer the questions asked on tours. Despite the work involved, the student ambassador position is generally very accommodating to the students.
“If you can’t attend your scheduled tours,” explained Dye, “they have stand-ins.”
Aylor said that while students aren’t paid for being student ambassadors, the job can help them to build their resumé. “We get a lot of students who want to be teachers and want to go into politics and so those students want to work on their public speaking experience and public relations experience.”
Before student ambassadors get the position, they must go through extensive interviewing. The ambassador program is part of the Student Government Association in their Blue and Gold Club.
An ambassador typically works two tours a week, and each tour lasts about 80 minutes.
Martinez said, “Since I don’t put in a lot of hours with this job it is not worthwhile for me to be paid and not a problem in my mind.”