SJU Dining Service Student Employee Handbook

SJU Dining Service Student Employment Handbook

*Read this handbook thoroughly. All SJU Dining Service student employees are expected to adhere to all policies and procedures as outlined in this handbook. Electronic handbook receipt to be received by Administrative Manager within first week of employment.  Receipt is available on last page of handbook.

Table of Contents

Welcome from the Director of SJU Dining Services and Events

Welcome to the St. John's Dining Service. Your role within the Dining Service is an important one: as an employee and a goodwill ambassador answering customer's questions regarding daily service, and supporting the quality of the Dining Service operation.

We are happy that you have joined us for this coming year. Our commitment is to provide for all the food, beverage, and event needs of the St. John's community with courteous, friendly, and helpful service. We must be willing to adapt to the needs of the customer, while maintaining respect for the resources available in our community.

We are in the service business and hopefully, you have both the desire and ability to serve others. We expect you to carry on your work conscientiously, as well as to be courteous and friendly to fellow employees and customers. Make the most of your job by getting to know the Dining Service staff and your fellow student workers. Take the opportunity to add to your learning experience here at SJU by learning new skills and developing your leadership skills. Together we can make the SJU Dining Service the best in college food service!

Janet Despard

Director of Dining Service and Events

Welcome from SJU Dining Service Student Managers

Welcome to St. John's Dining Service -Sexton Dining and the Refectory -the two dining establishments on the SJU campus. On top of starting your first year of college, you will be dealing with the challenge of a job. The people you meet at work can help make your job and your college experience more enjoyable. Make use of the people with whom you work -the student supervisors and student managers have all been in your place and can give you advice on how to deal with college. But more than that, the students you work with have the potential to become good friends. Dining Service is a great place to get to know others; especially when you consider the fact that you will be working with 60 students at Sexton and 120 students at the Refectory.

If you have any questions on policy or other areas, feel free to ask us or your supervisor. With good communication and understanding, employment in Dining Service will be a valuable and enjoyable experience for everyone.

SJU Dining Service Staff

Janet Despard- Director of Dining Services & Events
Julie Neuwirth- Dining Manager- Sexton
Mike Janku-Purchasing/ Operations Manager- Refectory
Adria Gillitzer-Dietitian/Administrative Manager- Refectory
Art Martinez-Chef/ Production Manager- Refectory
Jeff Wubbels- Director of Events and Conferences
Noah Raiche- Facilities Manager/Special Events Manager
Dora Shay- Coordinator of Office Services
Greg Schirmers- Head Custodial- Refectory
Anca Altenburg- Night Supervisor- Sexton
Betty Loehlein- Day Supervisor- Sexton

SJU Dining Service Mission Statement, Purpose and Structure

Our commitment is to provide all hospitality needs of the St. John's community. Our services will continually adapt to the needs of our customer. We strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients and to be respectful of the resources available in our community.

The purpose of SJU Dining Service's student employment program is to provide its customers (most of whom are your peers) quality service at a fair price and to fulfill the financial needs of St. John's Dining Service student employees.

The student program at St. John's Dining Service employs approximately 150 students. The student program is coordinated and directed by the Dietitian/Administrative Manager. Training and supervision is conducted by student supervisors and non-student employees. The student supervisors, student managers, and non­student (full and part time) staffs are involved in evaluation, skills development, and promotion selection.

We recognize that student employees are students and employees at the same time. Also, many student employees (including student supervisors/managers) are involved in sports, music groups, and other activities. We at SJU Dining Service stress that to participate in all such activities successfully at one time requires effective time management, good communication, and commitment.

Description of Job Titles and Tasks

Titles: Refectory D ining Service Associate (Blue Crew), Refectory Student Cook, Refectory Student Events/ Catering Associate, Refectory Student Cashier, Refectory Student Sanitation Specialist/ Custodial, Sexton Dining Service Associate, Refectory Student Warehouse Associate, Refectory Student Baker

Function/ Description of the Positions : The ideal candidates for these position will provide excellent food, pleasant service, and sanitary dishes while keeping a clean environment to be enjoyed by the customers of SJU Dining Service.

Skills used/gained from this position will include : interpersonal communication, teamwork, flexibility, dependability, customer service skills, perseverance. Also will develop ability to follow instructions, work under stress, pay attention to details, and act as a representative of the College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University.

Duties and Responsibilities**:

  • Refectory Dining Service Associate (Blue Crew) - working as a team member in the dish room to provide clean and sanitary dishes, utensils, pans, pots, and dishware for the customers of the Dining Service. 
  • Refectory Student Line Cooks - assisting cooks, bakers, and salad departments with preparation, serving, and cleanup of meals. Responsibilities may include preparing ingredients, food preparation, following recipes and instructions and cleanup of areas at the end of shift.  May work on hot grills, fryers, meat cutters, tomato slicer, etc.  Using customer service skills in serving food, working with other staff in keeping serving lines and milk areas neat, clean, and filled with food and dishes to provide a positive dining experience for the customers.
  • Refectory Student Baker- baking St. John's bread and other bakery products.  Duties also include cleanup of areas at the end of shift, other duties as assigned by supervisors.
  • Refectory Student Sanitation Specialist/ Custodial - performing custodial duties including cleaning, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and other projects assigned by supervisors to help keep the Dining Service spaces clean and neat.
  • Refectory Student Events/ Catering Associate - assisting catering crew with set- up, service and take- down of events on campus. Some late evening shifts may be required. 
  • Refectory Student Warehouse Associate - receiving orders, stocking and distributing products for use in main kitchen.  Driver's license is required for this position.  Some early morning shifts may be required.
  • Refectory Cashier- handling transactions for customers eating at dining facilities.
  • Abbey Retirement Center Dining Associate - provide service to the monastic residents of the Abbey Retirement Center. General responsibilities include the production of daily meals, the set-up and service of these meals to the residents of the retirement center, the clean-up of the Retirement Kitchen after meals
  • Sexton Student Dining Service Associate - preparing fast foods for customers, cleaning dishes and keeping Sexton Dining clean, keeping coolers and shelves full of products.

**All positions will require standing and walking for most of shifts. Some assignments will vary from shift to shift while others will work in the same area each time.  Actual work assignments will depend on your class schedule, your other activities, and the job openings that are available.  Some positions may use strong chemicals for cleaning. Some areas may require heavy lifting, but lifting can be shared.  On-the-job training is provided. Previous experience in food service is helpful but not necessary.  Decision level is minimal. These positions are supervised and employee will work with other people.  Supervisors reserve the right to move employees to different positions as needed to accomodate customer and staffing needs. 

Important Phone Numbers and Email Addresses

Use the following information to contact the Dining Service department management in case of absence, emergency, or questions.

If you are unable to attend a shift, it is your responsibility to get that shift covered by having a co- worker fill in for you or switching shifts. There may be instances where you may be unable to get your shift covered due to acute illness/ injury or family/ personal emergencies.  In these situations, call your supervisor or Refectory Kitchen/Sexton Commons Kitchen (as appropriate). Be sure to identify yourself, your shift, and your supervisor. Do not leave a voice mail message! Voice Mail messages will NOT be accepted as excuses for missing a work shift. You MUST speak to somebody in order for the absence to be excused.





Refectory Student Managers


Refectory Kitchen



Dietitian/ Administrative Manager (Refectory)


Sexton Student Managers


Sexton Kitchen



Email messages are appropriate for sending info about changes, asking questions, and other misc. communication. You may receive email concerning scheduling times, announcements, newsletters, or other important information from the student management. You are responsible for checking your email and for the information sent.

Responsibilities and Rights

Student Employees have the responsibility to:

  • Report to work on time, ready to perform assigned tasks
  • Dress properly for the position
  • Notify student manager of class schedule changes and illness
  • Give an honest day of work
  • Learn the job and perform at optimum level
  • Work as a team member
  • Maintain safety and security on the job
  • Treat others with respect
  • Give full attention to work, i.e. not doing homework, listening to headphones, talking on phone, etc.
  • Work through the full semester, including finals week, weekends, and any other shifts assigned by managers

Student Employees have the right to:

  • Receive proper training to accomplish the job
  • Know their supervisor
  • Have a proper work schedule that accommodates class and break scheduling
  • Obtain feedback on their performance
  • Receive fair and respectful treatment on the job
  • An appeal process
  • Be covered by Worker's Comp. for on-the-job injuries

Financial Aid

The CSB/SJU Student Employment/ Financial Aid Offices oversee the student employment program. You will receive information about work award processes from SJU Student Employee/ Financial Aid Department and Director, Angie Mareck. Information received from this department should be read carefully as it contains important information about your employment and earnings.

The student employment handbook from the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office contains basic information for all jobs on campus. The policies in that handbook are followed by SJU Dining Service. This SJU Dining Service student employment guide contains more specific information and policies for Dining Service employees. If there are questions concerning policy, please check with Dining Service management.

Work Awards

The Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office determines work awards according to the student's financial aid packages. Students with work awards are allowed to work on campus in a variety of job settings. Your work award is a set amount of money that you are allowed to earn during the academic year. More information about Student Employment and Financial Aid can be found at the Student Employment website available at

If an employee quits or is fired, they may not receive a work award in the following school year(s). It is the student's responsibility to make sure that the work award is fulfilled. If you feel that you are not receiving enough hours, contact the Student Managers for further opportunities for work hours. A monthly record of work award hours accumulated is also available upon request from the Dietitian/Administrative Manager.


Student employees are paid twice a month through the Student Accounts Office. The Student Managers will process the cards at the end  of each two week period. All hours are recorded on the student employee's WhenIWork account and are approved by the Student Managers.

Once the student payroll is processed, earnings are credited to either the student's checking account or against the University's bills. Pay information can be checked using Banner Web Self Service  link available at If there is a problem with your WhenIWork time card or your pay, contact a student manager.

Scheduling of Work Shifts

Weekday shifts are available during breakfast, lunch, dinner, between meals, and late evenings. Since Dining Service operates on weekends and during finals week, all employees will be scheduled for some weekend hours and shifts during finals week. Actual assignments and schedules will depend on class schedules and other activities, the needs of the customer, and shifts that are available. Most shifts are 3 - 3 ½ hours on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday and Thursday as well as rotating weekends.  Some shifts can be up to 8 hours (1 shift per week).  The length of shifts will depend upon size of work award and availability of the student employee.  Some shifts may be available during academic breaks, see Administrative Manager for details. 

Scheduling for Fall Semester is determined during the summer or on the date of hiring. At the Dining Service orientation meeting, employees meet their supervisors and receive a tour of Dining Service facilities. This is also an opportunity to have any work- related questions answered. Employees hired during mid- semester will receive shifts based on current class schedule and availability.

Spring semester scheduling will be set after regristration for Spring semester ends. Schedules are largely determined by the customers' needs, class schedules, and other activities. Your prompt and thorough replies to emails from the Student Management team during this time are appreciated.

It is your responsibility to notify student managers of class changes and extracurricular activities. Your class changes and lateness to scheduling times will result in decreased availability (or non-availability) of certain shifts for you.

Serving Times, Meals and Breaks

These are general serving times but are suject to change.  See dining service main webpage for specific serving times.  

Refectory hours:
Breakfast 7:15 AM- 10:30 AM
Lunch 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM
Dinner 4:30 PM- 7:00 PM

Brunch 9:00 AM- 1:30 PM
Dinner 4:30 PM- 7:00 PM

All Refectory and Sexton employees must be ready to work five minutes before the meal begins.

Sexton hours:
Monday through Friday 7:30 AM- 12:00 AM

Saturday and Sunday 10:30 AM- 12:00 AM

All shifts that are four hours or longer should have one, unpaid, 30 minute meal break and one, paid, 15 minute break.  Shifts that are eight hours or longer should have one, unpaid, 30 minute meal break and two, paid, 15 minute breaks (may be combined into a 30 minute break).  Direct any break quesitons to your supervisor.  

Meal breaks are the only time which food should be consumed while at work.  


As a student employee, you represent the Dining Service. It is important that the impression given is one of uniformity, cleanliness, and professionalism. The uniform items issued to you at orientation or at your hiring are your responsibility. If those items are lost or stolen you may be required to purchase replacements.

Each employee is given one personal visor or hat to wear for every shift.  Student employees are also responsible for getting a uniform shirt to wear for the duration of the shift.  After the shift, employees are to place their used shirts in the dirty laundry bin.  Associates should not bring their shirts home with them.

On every shift we expect that you wear:

  • Your clean Dining Service shirt
  • Your Dining Service cap or visor, facing forward & unadorned - No other hat, visors or bandanas are acceptable.
  • Your name tag
  • Solid color long pants such as jeans or khakis (no holes, rips or tears & no sweatpants, sheer leggings or windpants)
  • Closed toe & closed heeled shoes and socks (no sandals)
  • Minimal jewelry is allowed 
  • No fingernail polish or fake fingernails
  • Use of cellphones or systems with ear phones while at work is prohibited
  • No cellphones are to be used while working!!!  Phones are to be stored away in the lockers or pockets.  You are not allowed to check messages or make calls during your shift unless you clear it with your supervisor beforehand and then they must be made in the office, not out in the dining room or dish room. 

Health and Sanitation

For health and safety reasons, all employees must wash their hands when reporting to work. Hands must be washed with soap and water after eating, smoking, using the rest room facilities, coughing, scratching, or blowing your nose. Washing your hands upon completing work is also important.  The use of gloves is required whenever you are in direct contact with ready-to-eat foods and when handling clean dishes.  Always change gloves after emptying garbages, touching your hat, hair, face, etc., and inbetween food types. 

Eating, drinking, using a cellphone, smoking, chewing gum, and chewing tobacco are not allowed in the work area while on duty.  Eat and drink only on break times in the dining room. No cups/glasses or personal food items are to be in the serving areas, production areas, or the dishroom.

Student employees also must report illness to the management team if they are experiencing any vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, respiratory issues or if they have been diagnosed with E. Coli 0157:H7, Salmonella, Shigella, or Hepatitis A.  Students experiencing vomiting and/ or diarrhea may not work until at least 24 hours after symptoms are gone.  Students with fever and/ or respiratory issues may work as long as strict sanitation processes are followed, and they may be assigned to different tasks in order to minimize risk of spreading the illness.  Students experiencing jaundice should be checked for Hepatitis A, and should follow doctor recommendations about any work restrictions.     

Progressive Discipline

All student employees are at- will employees that are required to follow the rules and policies of the department. In the case that a student employee fails to meet the employment standards, SJU Dining Service adheres to the "three strikes and you're out" disciplinary program. Essentially, student employees are given two opportunities to correct unfavorable behavior before the possibility of termination.

Unexcused absences, tardiness, and general insubordination will be addressed by the issuance of a warning letter. Student employees are given two notices of violation before termination. Upon receiving the third notice of violation, a student's job will be terminated. Students will receive this written notification of a violation from the Student Management Office.  A copy will be kept for Student Management records, & a copy will be sent to the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office, which is kept in your employment file.

Student Supervisors will deal directly with any problem that may occur during their shift. Student managers will determine excused absences. If the employee feels that the supervisor has incorrectly interpreted the action, the conflict must be presented to the Student Manager. Non-student employees (full & part time employees) also have supervisor responsibilities & follow the same guidelines as student supervisors.

Students can be terminated immediately from their Dining Service position for the following reasons:

  • Dangerous horseplay
  • Theft
  • Punching a time card for another employee
  • Willful destruction of property
  • Being punched in when not working
  • Under the influence of alcohol or other drugs while working
  • Charging price other than the set price for food or services.
  • Harassing customers or other employees.
  • Any other action that the Student Managers feel is detrimental

Student Management reserves the right to terminate employees according to policy. If an employee feels unfairly treated, she/he may appeal to the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Office. Note: Termination from the Dining Service may result in loss of all future work award money through SJU Student Employment/ Financial Aid Department.

Attendance Policies and Procedures

Absences & tardiness are serious hindrances to any business. Work shifts are scheduled as efficiently as possible around class schedules to provide a balance between work & study. Missed work shifts more than 5 hours long may count as two (2) absences due to the increased impact of an absent employee. A notice of violation will be given when an employee fails to show up, and does not have a qualified substitute, or is more than fifteen minutes late on two occasions. Any missed weekend shifts will result in a mandatory make- up shift the following weekend in addition to a warning letter.

**Absences will be excused if an effort has been made to communicate BEFORE the scheduled work shift to the supervisor and it is one of the following situations:

  1. Family emergency
  2. Personal injury or health reasons (a doctor's slip may be requested)

Voice mail messages, emails, or notes WILL NOT be accepted as excuses for missing a work shift. Warning letters will be issued for any abcenses that are not pre- approved or that are not covered by another student employee.

Can't make it to one of your shifts? Find a substitute! Or switch shifts with another student empoyee!  The substitution policy gives the student employees a chance to uphold their responsibility toward work shifts (both weekday & weekend shifts), thus avoiding conflicts with their work schedule & providing a substitute to make sure the customer is served.

In the event a student cannot make the work shift, a substitute must be found. Email the student managers and use WhenIWork to find a sub.  

Training Programs

On-the-job training is given for all SJU Dining Service positions. Employees will be trained by Student supervisors and managers, other student employees, and non-student employees. Be sure to ask questions during your training to ensure that you are comfortable completing all aspects of your job.

Friends Looking for Work

After mid September, jobs are opened up to anyone interested in a job (no work award needed). Before that, on-campus employment is limited to those with work awards.

Students that are interested in working with SJU Dining Service should apply on the Student Employment website. Students will only be considered for employment after submitting the online application available at


If you are considering resigning from your position, please discuss your work situation with your Student Supervisors or Managers. Often there may be other options available to you. If time concerns are an issue, you may be required to talk to Academic Advising before notice is given. After notifying Dining Service student management and your supervisor, notify the Student Employment/ Financial Aid Coordinator.

If you decide that you want to quit your job, you are expected to give a two (2) week written notice unless other arrangements have been made. (Official two week notice starts on the day when your written notice is given in person to student management). If you do not give or fulfill the two-week notice, you may not qualify for another on-campus job.  Also, if you do not fulfill your two-week obligation, your record will note that you were terminated.

In order to provide consistent service for our customers, no letters of resignation will be accepted within the last three weeks (including finals) of school. Our customers expect the same service during the last weeks of school as the rest of the school year.

If you decide to resign your job for spring semester after working fall semester, you must turn in your notice before the end of fall semester - preferably when sign-up for the next semester occurs. This helps us to plan for hiring needs for the next semester.


With the help of student employees, supervisors, managers, & full-time staff, an evaluation is completed for each student worker at least once per year. Areas covered in the evaluation will include: job knowledge, responsibility, job energy and people skills. You also may have an opportunity to evaluate your supervisor. Potential employers may call for references.

Student managers and other supervisors will also informally "check- in" with student employees to assess job satisfaction and to answer any questions. Student employees do not need to wait for these opportunities to address issues and concerns; you are encouraged to approach peers and superiors with any questions or concerns at any time.

References from SJU Dining Service

Your Dining Service work experience is a valuable part of your college experience. Feel free to use Dining Service as a reference. Address your reference request to the manager of Sexton or the Refectory. Many jobs on & off-campus do call for references & to verify your employment.

Scheduling of Special Events

St. John's hosts many special events that involve catering by the Dining Service. Occasionally, these events may require that specific shifts work at the event or work late in assisting with clean up. Employees will be informed ahead of time of their scheduling at these events. All Dining Service policies apply to those working such events. During special events such as Pinestock, Johnnie/ Tommy games, holiday dinners and finals shifts, an unexcused absence may elicit different disciplinary actions.

Working During Special Circumstances

In cases of emergencies -snowstorms, etc., when classes are canceled or the University is officially closed, student workers scheduled for regular hours during this time are still expected to report to the work shift, unless they live off campus. Also, student workers may be called to work when it is not safe for the full-time employees to report to work.

Advancement Opportunities

Each year there are opportunities for advanced positions- cashier, Br. Willie's Pub, student supervisor, and student manager are a few of the positions available. These positions, along with the additional responsibilities, may offer higher wages & opportunities to develop leadership skills. All such positions are one-year commitments, & all employees will need to reapply for subsequent years. Look for information on applying for these positions in the Dining Service newsletters in the late fall for Spring semester & late Spring for the following Fall semester.

Employee of the Month

Each month, student management selects employees who show their commitment to the Dining Service through their hard work, positive attitude, willingness to help others on the job, and friendliness toward customers and co-workers. Employees are selected from Sexton from the Refectory to be the employees of the month. Each employee of the month receives a prize.

Customer Service

Dining Service provides a service for our customers -whether the customer is a fellow student, faculty, staff, prospective student and parents, or a guest of St. John's.  We want to provide tasty, pleasing meals served by courteous, helpful employees in a pleasant and clean environment. A few points to remember to make the customer's experience a positive one:

  • Smile and look people in the eye.
  • Enforcing the rules helps all customers enjoy their meal ­and makes for a consistent expectation.
  • Be courteous and friendly to all customers.
  • Anticipate customers' needs.
  • Having a clean environment and sanitary dishes & silverware is a big part of a pleasant dining experience.
  • Be sure the food is served neatly and properly.
  • Be clean and neat.  Your personal appearance is a great asset.
  • Say plenty of "hellos", "how can I help you's?", and "thank you's".
  • Be enthusiastic.  Have fun!

Handbook Receipt