Feature: ‘Jack’s hack’ receives a major upgrade

Parking ambassador Jack Smith gets a new and improved parking booth

By Mo Juenger | Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Twitter

Xavier’s parking booth, endearingly known as “Jack’s Shack,” was replaced this August, much to the satisfaction of long-time parking ambassador Jack Smith.

The booth was replaced due to mounting issues with electrical systems and weatherproofing. Singel recalled some of these problems with the previous structure, including rust and water leaks.

“I remember a time we had a rainstorm, a cold snap and then a warm streak, and I got flooded out,” Smith said.

Renovations to the shack include a sliding window, a larger desk for student workers and colorful flowers that surround the booth’s perimeter. Smith’s personal favorite upgrade is the addition of heating and air conditioning systems to keep the booth’s temperature moderated.

“Everything is new… we’ve got the wi-fi system working in there, so the student (workers) can do their homework in there now,” Smith noted.

Singel was also impressed by the updates to “Jack’s Shack.”

“We used to have such a small table in there, but now we’ve got a much larger desk for the students,” she said. “And the sliding window makes things a lot more secure. They can just shut it if they feel uncomfortable with anything.”

Photo courtesy of Twitter

The project took several months throughout the summer and included a short period during which Jack fulfilled his duties from golf carts or on foot.

“Jack truly went above and beyond,” XUPD Risk Management officer Denise Singel said of his time in-between buildings this summer.

However, Smith feels that the wait was worth it and is pleased with the updates to his home on campus.

Smith has worked as a parking ambassador for 15 years, and during that time, the booth has become a community staple for Xavier students and faculty alike.

Smith considers his parking booth the “Positivity Gate” and said he loves how his job allows him to bring daily positivity to the Xavier community.

With the new structure, he believes he has a warm and welcoming place to further introduce such positivity.

“My favorite part of the job is helping people out,” Smith said.

“I have my own tour where I talk to (prospective first-years and families) about the Lady (of Victory statue).”

Current students also said they admire Smith’s upbeat attitude.

“He really cares how your day is going and wants to get know you, even if it’s just for that second when you’re driving in,” junior musical theatre and communications major Ellie Deutsch said.

“He loves his job, and that’s what really matters,” junior business analytics major Auduce Fundu said.

The new and improved parking booth is located next to the Edgecliff parking lot, with Smith present to help make campus a safer and more welcoming place.