Campus Workers of the Week: Nancy Stone-Johnson & the University Court Staff

The staff at University Court helps Eastern students find affordable campus housing.

Nancy Stone-Johnson, apartment manager of University Court, has been with Eastern for almost two years, replacing Doris Hamilton, the former apartment manager.

Prior to coming to Eastern, Stone-Johnson worked in housing for 20 years.

Stone-Johnson is in charge of University Court, and there are 146 apartments leased year-round to students. While in spring and fall the majority of students are undergrads, in the summer the students may be of any age.

“Last summer, we hosted Elderhostel, and we had several students who were in their 60s and 70s,” she said. “The students come from all over the state.”

During the school year, Stone-Johnson has four undergrad students and two grad students working under her. Summer is her busiest time of year.

“During the summer months at University Court, we move students in and out depending on their class schedule,” she said. “They may need an apartment for 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 weeks and we try to accommodate all combinations of those time frames. Over 150 students will be staying at University Court this summer.”

University Court may also get inquiries for housing during the school year, and they try to help all of their students achieve their academic goals, Stone-Johnson said.

University Court seems to be the place to be on campus in summer.

“It’s an affordable, safe and fun place to live for the summer,” Stone-Johnson said. “You may drive by in July and see a group of students grilling while others play in our outdoor swimming pool.”

Ryan Snow, a graduate assistant for Educational Administration, is working under Stone-Johnson this summer in University Court. This will be his fifth year at Eastern and his second summer at University Court.

“I am an associate resident director, and I mainly provide a resource for students to find information,” Snow said. “I interact with students on a daily basis when they come in or call the office.”

Snow usually arrives in the office around 9 a.m. and checks in with Stone-Johnson about anything that has happened in the past few days.

“Typically, I am fielding phone calls or speaking with residents about any questions they have for the rest of my shift,” he said. “Around noon we all leave the office and have lunch together. Most afternoons I have off.”

Snow is originally from Oswego and hopes to become a police officer after graduating from Eastern.

“I love my job because of the interaction I have with students,” he said. “It makes me feel good when I can leave a smile on a student’s face after helping them with a problem they are having.”

University Court gives students an opportunity to deal with issues they may have once they leave school. These are such things as paying bills on time and reporting things to the apartment manager, Snow said.

“It is an affordable housing option for students that are enrolled in summer classes and looking for an apartment living style,” Snow said. “Most apartments will only sign a 6 or 12 month lease, but we provide students an opportunity to live on campus and sign a lease specifically for the time they will be here over the summer.”

University Court gives students more freedom than being in the residence halls, and it gives them a chance to learn how to manage money and live in reality.

“Like the residence halls, we still have rules and staff members do nightly rounds for the safety of the students, but the students are accountable to pay their bills, attend class and make their meals,” Kash said. “What is really nice about U Court is that financial aid still can be applied to student accounts as they live in apartments instead of residence hall rooms.”

Jennifer Brown can be reached at 581-7942 or at [email protected].