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ISSUE 117 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/31/2003

Doin' It: Jill Zaspel and Andy Billing, Pause Coordinators

By Daniel Grupe
Staff Writer

Friday, October 31, 2003

One of the hottest places to be on campus is managed by two of the hottest students at St. Olaf. Andy Billing ’04 and Jill Zaspel ’04 are co-coordinators of the Lion’s Pause in Buntrock Commons. Since the two are equally instrumental to the success of the Pause, both are being profiled this week.

Zaspel and Billing have been involved with the Pause from the beginning of their St. Olaf careers. Andy began as a techie his first year, moving up to stage manager for the last two years before taking the role of coordinator this year. Jill began as a member of the concert committee and then took the role of financial coordinator last year. Billing, a history major, and Zaspel, a studio art major, each have management studies concentrations. Their common interest in music management brought them to their current positions with the Pause. This interest, along with a combined six years of experience, is essential in managing such an important St. Olaf institution.

The Pause is entirely student-run, and has been since its beginning in 1968. In 35 years, the Pause has become the largest student-run organization on campus, requiring two coordinators and 14 executives along with dozens more kitchen, security and tech staff. As such a large organization, The Pause uses about one-fourth of the Student Government Association (SGA) operating budget (around $113,000). Most of this money, says Zaspel, goes towards concerts and other programming.

Jill and Andy each put in well over twenty hours per week working at or for the Pause. About half of that time, according to Billing, is spent at Senate meetings, SGA executive meetings, and other work related to the Pause and SGA. The rest of the time, he said, the coordinators are assisting other executives, attending meetings, or stepping into the kitchen to lend a needed hand. All this time spent in the Pause means countless pizza bagels and getting to know the other executives really well.

“It’s like a big family,” Zaspel said of the Pause team. “People here have so much pride in the Pause.”

Andy also had something to say about this Pause pride. “It’s the best place on campus,” he said, “to be able to work at a business run entirely by students, to make it successful … it’s great to be a part of the organization.”

Billing and Zaspel are both excited about the Pause events this year thus far, especially Fall Concert, which was extremely successful despite the lack of support from Carleton. Expect another major event from the Pause this spring with funds coming from the now-defunct St. Olaf/Carleton Spring Concert. After the schools were unable to sort through irreconcilable differences, the collaborative concert will not happen this year. According to Billing, however, “We have to emphasize that the door is open for the future.”

Students need not wait until spring for big Pause events. Jazz musician Nachito Herrera will play a concert on Oct. 30, and student favorite Alva Star returns on Nov. 7. In between major events there’s always something happening at the Pause. Whether you’re looking for a late-night snack, a game of pinball, a movie to rent or just a place to relax, the Pause is still the place to be on campus. In return, Zaspel and Billing ask for very little.

“We want people to visit, we want feedback,” Zaspel said.

That, and one more thing. Said Billing: “Stop stealing our pool balls!”

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