Usher Expectations

Ushers are front-line representatives of the center. The Guest Services department considers the safety and satisfaction of our patrons and artists to be our first responsibility. As such, ushers are expected to hold themselves to the highest standard of conduct and courtesy when interacting with each other and patrons.  The following list of items establishes the expectations for all of our usher staff.

General expectations include:

  • Attend to patron needs in a friendly and welcoming manner.
  • Act upon patron comments/complaints in a prompt and professional manner.
  • Monitor patron activities to prevent safety problems.
  • Answer patron questions regarding performance details, venues, building amenities, and the center.
  • Read correspondence from the Guest Services Department, including but not limited to, the Weekly Bulletin.
  • Student ushers are expected to check email daily and respond within 24 hours.

Training expectations include:

  • Attend required orientation sessions.
  • Pass a basic assessment displaying competence and knowledge about the center and usher responsibilities, as needed.
  • Attend/participate in retraining courses or meetings, including online sessions, when required.

Volunteer shift expectations include:

  • Volunteer approximately three times a month, averaging 100 hours per year.
  • If a volunteer usher works less than 75 hours in a year, he or she will be asked to step down from staff unless he or she works four (4) shifts during pre-designated busy runs throughout the year, including Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, FTT plays, ND Opera,  Admitted Student Days, Commencement, AND Kids, etc.

Student shift expectations include:

  • Work all assigned shifts or find a replacement.
  • Support the logistical and operational needs of the center (i.e. set-ups, moving chairs and equipment, data entry, etc.)
  • Arrive and be available to work as your first priority before the start of the school year and during Senior Week in May (meals and on-campus housing provided by the center).

Customer Service

When assisting patrons, remember you represent the Performing Arts Center and the University of Notre Dame at all times.  A good usher should always be…

Welcoming        Smiling, professional, and welcoming behavior shows our patrons we’re happy to have them here.

Proactive             Anticipating the needs of our patrons before you are asked.

Optimistic           Reflecting a positive attitude and a willingness to help patrons.

Enthusiastic       Responding immediately to a patron; “Let me see what I can do” shows them we care.

Patient                 Keeping your composure to effectively guide the patron to a solution to their problem.

Continuous        Even while the performance or screening is in progress, the usher is still on the job.

Grounds for Termination

The following is a list of reasons for terminating an usher from the Performing Arts Center, including but not limited to:

  • Poor attitude, performance, or customer service
    • Since our ushers are a reflection of the center and the university, a poor attitude, performance, or customer service may be grounds for termination.  If a patron complains of your service, this may also warrant termination.
    • Ushers who fail to demonstrate a spirit of continuous improvement may not be a good fit for our program.
  • Alcohol or controlled substance
    • Alcohol or controlled substances must not be consumed by volunteer or student ushers while on duty and/or on center premises. If an usher is under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances while on duty, the usher will be dismissed from staff.  Student ushers may be subject to additional disciplinary action.
  • Attendance and Punctuality
    • Ushers who are tardy without prior notification and continue a pattern of tardiness may be removed from the usher corps.
  • Cell phones, electronic devices, and talking during performances
    • When entering the building, ushers should turn off cell phones. Talking on a cell phone, texting, frequently accessing a cell phone, or talking to other ushers during a performance is grounds for removal from the volunteer program or dismissal as a student usher. Student house managers may use cell phones for time keeping or house emergencies.
  • Harassment
    • The University of Notre Dame strives to maintain a community where every individual can live, work, and learn. Discriminatory or sexual harassment is not tolerated. For more information, visit:
  • Non-professional behavior
    • Any behavior deemed unprofessional will not be tolerated.

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