Opinion: IWU needs to address on-campus employment hurdles

By Farah Bassyouni Nov 11, 2022

Being a financially independent college student is a huge responsibility and burden. Classes and homework make up a full schedule, but that’s not the only thing students have to worry about. 

Finding a job on campus is a difficult process. Although there are many openings, from tutors to desk workers, in almost every building on campus, the abundance of opportunities doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get a job. 

One of the biggest obstacles to getting an on-campus job is having to email different staff on campus to make sure that your financial aid package allows you to have the job you’re pursuing. This is incredibly limiting to students without the necessary package. It makes the amount of jobs they can get on campus a miniscule number. 

That’s not to mention that every student is applying for the same positions as you. The Ames Library is one of the most coveted places to work on campus, the quiet atmosphere makes it a great working environment. 

Students with financial aid packages are also limited because of the amount of hours you can work. With certain financial aid packages the most you can work in a week is a maximum of 10 hours.  

If you are “lucky” enough to get a position, there are two more huge battles with on-campus jobs: the wages and pay schedule. Minimum wage is on track to be $15 per hour by 2025 in Illinois, but most on campus jobs only pay $10.50 per hour and students get paid in a lump sum on the tenth of every month. Between the schedule and the pay rate, only working an on-campus job is of very little financial benefit to students.

Almost every retail store or fast food restaurant in Bloomington is hiring and will pay $15 per hour bi-weekly. It seems like a no-brainer to work off campus, but not all students have the luxury of transportation which forces them into depending on wages from on-campus jobs.   

Just because the workload of on-campus jobs may be less than normal service industry jobs does not mean they should not be able to sustain the life of a student. While there are a few small advantages to on-campus jobs, the problems that arise make the positions unworthy of anyone’s time.

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