The State of Student Employment

Student workers at the library: Mac Anderson and Ashlee Pastor.

Photos Courtesy of Zach Avery

by Zach Avery, Editor-in-Chief

Aquinas College may be facing a shortage of employed student workers. There is a plethora of open opportunities for AQ students who may be seeking part-time jobs that can offset some of the routine costs that occur when living and studying on campus. Yet, some departments regularly receive little to no applicants every single semester.

“We are not sure of the reasons why,” said Doug Greenslate, the director of Housekeeping at Aquinas. “We know there are other options that are more appealing, but maybe students don’t know jobs are available.”

Greenslate acknowledged that financial pay for some of these jobs may be a factor, as well. All student jobs on-campus are guaranteed to meet the state’s minimum wage requirements, with some providing additional benefits if the work involves particularly challenging conditions or training. 

One such department is Creative Dining Services (or Campus Dining), led by Director Ryan Wilzer.

“We can do informal interviews before the application is filled out,” said Wizler. “To show students what their job would be all about.”

Student worker at Aquinas’ The Moose Cafe: Gillian Carver.

Positions at on-campus stores, like The Corner and Moose Café, offer a sense of independence and camaraderie amongst fellow employees. Aquinas staff like Alyssa Hoff, the retail supervisor for Creative Dining Services, has fostered a tradition of student-led management and operation. In such environments, students can take more pride and ownership of their work. 

“We support them in the decisions they make on how they want to run it,” said Hoff. “We give them the chance to foster their leadership abilities.”

It can be difficult to tell what specifically is causing Aquinas’ downspill in student employment. Are students finding jobs off-campus that pay more? Are students not needing part-time work? Has the pandemic discouraged some of them from applying? If the answer is “All of the above”, then a larger trend may be revealing itself.

If you’d like part-time work, departments like Physical Plant, Campus Dining, the Library, and so many others are always interested in receiving your application.

Categories: News, The Saint