August 10, 2011

Bankers, businessmen, bicyclists and more — UW hosts visitors all summer

News and Information

The UW women's volleyball team's is among the groups that stay at the UW during summer break, along with preseason practices for several other sports.

They come to campus each summer by the hundreds — students, teachers, athletes, cheerleaders, musicians, techies, accountants, businessmen, bankers, bicyclists and more.

From days — sometimes hours — after spring quarter ends to the very night before the new school year starts, the UW plays host to all manner of summer groups, camps and conferences.

This summer, Housing & Food Services will provide housing and dining for about 140 conferences, totaling about 7,000 campus visitors. Thats down a little bit from a few years back — a result of the depressed economy — but still makes for a busy summer for the conference coordinators who organize and oversee every detail of the visits. HFS staff stay busy preparing accommodations quickly between groups — sometimes even within a matter of hours, which they call a “same-day turn.”

A lot of the visitors who stay on campus each summer are students either preparing for their first year at the UW, or practicing skills with various athletic groups. This summer will see preseason football, basketball, baseball, golf, volleyball, soccer, cross-country, lacrosse, swimming and even rugby.

Theres also a mathematics academy, a Spanglish camp, a Gear-Up group, the UW Marching Band and the Calgary Round-Up Band, Summer School on String Theory, a salmon research camp as well as leadership retreats and the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic and a summer academy for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Among the last groups to occupy residence halls in summer are young women participating in the annual Panhellenic Rush, Sept. 10-17. About 200 women stay in Haggett Hall during that week as the sororities on campus recruit members.

And then, of course, there is the visiting group that beats all others, hands down, for longevity. The Pacific Coast Banking School has been sending students to the UW for a summer residency since 1938.

The group that handles all details of these conferences, arranging for the comfort and safety of these thousands of guests, is a small one. Leonard OConnor is general manager of conference housing and Penni-Anne Bricker is manager. The three conference coordinators (see a January 2011 UW Today story about their hard work) are Maya Escobar, Christine Sismaet and Ryan Jones.