By Jacob Gross
Issues with student worker shortages became a topic of discussion at the Sept. 10 Faculty Senate meeting. They discussed that students were applying for off-campus jobs that paid better and were considering whether they could raise the student wage.
Dr. Ozley, the President of the Faculty Senate said during the meeting that the university will make “some exploration into whether or not they can pay student workers more than they are being paid now,” but there were concerns about paying student workers more than the lowest paid non-student employees.
Many on-campus jobs start at minimum wage and can only earn pay raises after two semesters of work. These on campus jobs are level one jobs, which are classified as unskilled jobs according to the university of Montevallo’s Handbook for Student Workers. Level one jobs cannot be raised above a rate of nine dollars an hour.
Off-campus jobs not only pay better, but they also are more willing to give more hours to students. Sydney Hollis, a sophomore biology major, has a job at Jack’s, where she gets paid nine dollars an hour. She said that she was motivated to have an off-campus job because of her hours. She said, “Here they have a cap of 20 hours a week, but at Jacks if you need more hours, they will be able to give them to you.”
Campus jobs might be able to offer something that off-campus jobs do not. Megan Davis, a sophomore elementary education major expressed a general level of contentment with her campus job. She works as a tutor in the Learning Enrichment Center for English, Spanish and geology. She said that she enjoys tutoring because she, “really likes seeing the lightbulb moment, of oh, I get it,” in students.
Davis’s campus job directly ties to her future career. The campus offers a variety of different jobs that look good on resumes and tie into students’ interests.
However, there are a lack of Learning Enrichment Center tutors this semester. saying: “I’m the only geology tutor… I don’t have another person I can go to and say ‘hey, I’m not real confident in this particular area, could you go to this person for that.’”
With an increase in the student wages, the faculty hope that they will be able to fill the gap of student workers.
Both Mark Bolton and Susan Hayes were contacted, Manager of Student Employment and the Treasurer of the school respectively, but neither of them was willing to give a comment at this time.