Dojna Krecu: The Sass of Kasteel Well

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I look out of my window, on any given day or time, and I am greeted by the view of students strolling euphorically through the courtyard. In this crowd of chatty students, there is often one figure that stands out the most: Dojna Krecu. She walks among the d1students exchanging smiles and laughs as she finishes her cigarette. The guys know her as “a bro” while the girls all consider her their best gal-pal. A stranger to Emerson College’s European Center in Limburg, The Netherlands, might confuse her as a student but everyone else knows her as Dojna, our campus mom.

 

Who is Dojna Krecu?

“So who are you, Dojna?”

“I am Dojna Krecu! What kind of a question is that?!”

Born on September 26, 1972 in Uzdin, Serbia, Dojna Krecu came to The Netherlands in the early 2000s as a woman ready to take on the roller coaster of life. “I honestly do not remember exactly when I came,” she said in her one-of-a-kind Serbian and Dutch accent. After spending some time searching for part-time work in Limburg while her immigration papers were being settled,  Dojna then decided to work voluntarily as a maintenance lady for Emerson College’s Kasteel Well. “I started out helping Huber Simons [facilities director of Kasteel Well] fix up the parts of the castle. We painted, did yard work, plumbing-you name it!”

Not long after, Dojna was moved up to a paying position. “She is a hard worker. All the older fixtures you see around the castle were done by her. I mean, she’s been here almost as long as me,” Huber Simons said with a dad-like smile. After making a good impression as a custodian, Dojna became the first worker for the newly developed Office of Student Affairs in 2006. “I guess they liked me!” she said.

 

The Daily Dojna

“How does your day begin?”
“Well, I wake up, roll out of bed, get on my bike, and I’m here!”

 After parking her bike, Dojna has time for a few quick and sassy exchanges some students before she gets down to business. “I start my shift my signing in at the OSA office, doing my rounds, and then I deal a lot more shit,” she giggled.  Dojna, along with her three coworkers, Robert, Jonny, and Rene, currently run the Office of Student Affairs at Kasteel Well. “As an OSA worker, I have to be here for you guys [students]. That means staying overnight here…a lot!” In addition to keeping the peace and safety at Kasteel Well, Dojna’s responsibilities include planning out the logistics for academic excursions. “This year, I helped plan your class’ trips to Amsterdam and Berlin. We had to make sure flights and accommodations were booked, get a copy of all students’ passports, order metro passes, create the schedule- my head hurts from talking about it! It is all about making sure you guys have a good time,” she ended.

“Dojna is super cool person to work with. She never fails to get her job done and make us laugh while doing it,” her coworker Rene commented.

 

Dojna and Her Students

“What do you like most about Emerson students?”

“…that they leave in 2 months.”

 Working in a study abroad program, Dojna experiences different groups of young American students moving in and out as each semester opens and closes. “I have seen about 14 different groups of students. I like it! A new group means new stories, new fun moments,” she said.

“My favorite thing about Dojna is her sass, definitely,” said sophomore, Brooks Jacobs. “Every joke she makes about me is funny, I can’t help it.”

“She’s definitely my favorite person here! Her sense of humor is the best. We can just hang out, smoke a cigarette, and have the best conversations—just like a friend. She still pulls off being a respected authority figure though,” said Louis Contino, junior at Kasteel Well.

Matt D’Innocenzo of sophomore year said “Dojna is the perfect administrator because she really gets us. Like, she doesn’t yell at us like little children. She gets us with sarcastic comments that are always funny.” D’Innocenzo also commented on her excellence in leadership saying, “She knows when to make exceptions to by-the-book rules. Everyone gets to the goal result happily with her in charge.”

Dojna is notorious for her sharp sarcastic comments that leave students giggly and excited.

“If you are going to get wasted at the bars, at least do not walk in the middle of the fucking road!” she said going through safety protocols on orientation day.

“Please no talking, unless it is a sarcastic comment. Then make it quick!” she blurted as she began to quiet the room of students for a travel meeting last week.

“Did your personality and attitudes develop like this after working with college students for so long?” I asked her.

“No I do not study these things or learn patterns to working with students. I am just myself, every day I come to work. I am myself.”

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Navidra Hardin

Navidra Hardin

Journalism and Marketing Communications student at Emerson College!

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