The dazzling lights and speakers for Palm Court Party (PCP) and the booming microphone at the recent Save Our School rally are just two examples of the countless equipment set-ups executed by the Equipment Teacher Assistants (EQTAs). These TAs work to ensure that walls and many other student events have the proper electronic equipment.
“At the beginning of February, we did a Black History Month event at College Hall and I was there for 16 hours setting up and managing the sounds,” thesis student Matthew Brickhouse said.
An EQTA makes around $10.25 per hour hour, but their budget has been affected by broader cuts. A discretionary fund used to be available in case of emergencies, but it no longer exists so if something breaks not much can be done.
“We used to have four positions available, [and even more in the past], but recently [it’s been] cut down to three,” Brickhouse said. “I had to beg and plead for them to not cut the hourly pay to $8 an hour because they really wanted to do that and cut a position, but nobody would do the job for that amount it’s too much work.”
Other EQTAs agree that this position requires a lot of responsibility.
“People have this expectation that it’s not a difficult job but you have to stay up late at night, handle expensive equipment, interact with people and and make sure things are going according to plan and if things get messed up, which they do a lot, then you have to be attentive and problem solve so there’s a lot going on,” thesis student Hannah Korentur said.
To be hired as an EQTA, previous experience is preferred, but reliability and a willingness to learn are required. And for students hosting events that need sound or lighting, EQTA services can be obtained through NovoConnect.