The charm of campus life was too satisfying for Amanda Bigney ‘11 to simply leave behind after graduation. This summer, Bigney, a graduate of Hillsdale College, was hired to replace outgoing Student Activities Director Kevin Boyle.
As the new director, Bigney oversees the daily operations of Grewcock Student Union, the Spirit Club, men and women’s residence life, Student Federation, The Source, orientation, student mentors, and the Student Activities Board, as well as the seven SAB parties hosted annually.
Bigney was told of the opening position in February, and she was encouraged by several people to apply. She was hired a few weeks later.
Senior Wesley Steeb, GOAL program director, said Bigney brings “great organizational and creative skills” to events she organizes.
“Amanda brings a lot of enthusiasm to her job,” Steeb said, “and her personality and vibrancy are bringing a ton to the student activities office atmosphere.”
Hailing from Cedar Springs, Mich., Bigney graduated from Hillsdale in 2011. She majored in art and decided to spend an initial period after graduation living close to campus.
“I didn’t have a concrete plan after college,” Bigney said. “But I knew I wanted to stay around campus for a while.”
Bigney was hired to a part-time post as an art instructor at Hillsdale Academy for the 2011 – 2012 school year.
“Staying in Hillsdale I knew I could find a job and gain some more experience.”
With little time to settle into her new job with the college, Bigney quickly learned the fast-paced nature of the job.
“Orientation was the first big challenge,” Bigney said. “The first week of the semester, however, was definitely the hardest.”
Between The Source and the Welcome Party, Bigney had her work cut out for her.
“I was getting literally hundreds of emails a day at one point,” Bigney said. “It can be a mad rush sometimes.”
But Bigney is confident her early work has turned out well.
“People have been very reassuring,” Bigney said. “I had people come up to me after the Welcome Party saying it was the best one yet. We had a bigger tent this year which worked better for the band and allowed people space to mingle.”
Senior Marissa Philipp, director of SAB, said working with Bigney has been a joy.
“She is always so enthusiastic and willing to help out,” she said. “Her creativity and positive energy have already spread all over campus. We get along really well and I am looking forward to working with her throughout this year.”
From the beginning, Bigney has had to deal with some preconceived notions about what she does.
She said the hardest part of the job is juggling so many events at once, but that her personality is “suited to the fast-paced atmosphere.”
Bigney, a veteran of the school’s volleyball team, keeps in touch with old acquaintances.
“I go into SAGA sometimes and its feels pretty weird to not be a student anymore,” Bigney said. “Fortunately there are a lot of graduates working around campus that are my age.
Looking toward the coming year, Bigney wants to make student feel more welcome and involved.
“We try to fit every interest,” Bigney said. “The [student] union should be a place where students feel comfortable.”
Overall, Bigney appears quite content with her new responsibility.
“It’s a good well rounded job,” Bigney said. “I’m never bored.”