Opinion: IWU student employees should be paid biweekly for their work

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 11, 2022
Graphic by Jenna Maue

Illinois Wesleyan University prides itself on financially helping students, but there is one simple thing that could be implemented to better aid students that currently is not provided by the university. Biweekly payment of earned wages to student workers instead of only once a month is crucial, and would be appreciated by student workers across IWU campus.

 The majority of employers outside of the university nowadays pay their employees biweekly, and sometimes even more frequently due to the importance of a paycheck to the majority of people in our society. Some workplaces even provide up to half of earned wages available at any time to their workers because oftentimes, that is the necessity. Illinois Wesleyan University is one of the few employers that still hold out to pay their workers once a month.

In our society, money is such an important staple to keep our lives running smoothly, especially for the busy and expensive life of a college student. These financial obligations include paying for books, tuition, printing, rent, and food. Not only do the majority of people live paycheck to paycheck, but the “broke college student” is a universal stereotype, so why are we of all people only paid once a month? 

As student workers, we work hard to keep our campus running and to help the university operate as efficiently as possible, but this isn’t provided in return in order to allow our lives to run smoothly. As a student worker employed by the university myself, I know personally that it is very difficult to make ends meet when we are only compensated for our hard work once a month. Bills, tuition payments, money for food, and rent are all things that don’t just stop in the middle of the month, making the second half of the month for students immensely financially strenuous. This often leads to the skipping of meals, or eating of unbalanced meals that may very well cause harmful effects on mental health, physical health, etc. which can subsequently have a negative effect on our academic achievements. 

For a lot of student workers, on campus jobs are the only source of income that  they receive to live off of. Unexpected events tend to occur through the course of a college career, as part of the nature of growing up, putting many students in tough financial situations because they’re waiting on earned compensation for their hard work. This would prove to be a struggle for students without an identified need, but many student workers on campus must be approved for work-study. This implies that a student has been identified to need significant financial help while they are attending college.

I think that a lot of financial stress that burdens student workers would be taken care of and attended to if Illinois Wesleyan University paid their deserving and hardworking student workers every two weeks instead of once a month.

Related Post