This report has been contributed by Madilyn Harrell, a student from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.
On Mercer University’s campus, there are a group of approximately 200 students who wear orange polos and khakis. These students are found working mainly in the University Center, but can also be found at football and basketball games.
This group of student workers is called Bearforce and are responsible for maintaining a good relationship with patrons who travel in and out of the University Center, as well as at the sporting events.
"The Bearforce is our student workforce," said Michael Junod, Director of the University Center, “they help us operate the facility.”
Other than having the duties of cleaning and greeting, Bearforce workers are regular students at Mercer University.
The paid position offers students the opportunity to work a few hours a week on campus, between classes, to earn money.
“It’s a very flexible job,” said Alexis Tillery, a Bearforce worker, "you can work as many hours as you want or as little hours as you want.”
Bearforce workers also have the chance to move up in positions to a Bearforce Leader, referred to as a BFL. There are also two Graduate Assistants who oversee Bearforce workers.
“As BFL I supervise all of our employees,” said Tommy Bridgewater, “we also open and close the UC.”
Whether it is in the fitness center, box office, equipment checkout, or the main desk, Bearforce is a smiling face that greets students, faculty, and those in the larger Macon, Ga. community who visit the University Center and sporting events.
“I think Bearforce is super helpful and friendly,” said Emily Robertson, a Mercer student.