Examining the State of Student Employment

Meghan Sackman, Contributor

Students have expressed the concern that there are not enough opportunities everyone to participate in campus employment.

Mercy Alonso, Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid Administration and the Financial Aid Administration, cleared up some of the confusion about campus employment. The Financial Aid department explained that whether or not a student gets a job on campus is not fully in their hands.

The department explained how there are many contributing factors to a student receiving campus employment and how not every student is guaranteed a spot.

“Not every student who is awarded federal work study or campus employment finds a position on campus. The Financial Aid Office awards what a student is eligible to receive, however we have no control in the hiring of positions,” Alonso said.

The administration goes on further to explain that the hiring is done by the specific departments. Whether or not they have positions available determines if there is campus employment availability.

Alonso said that “everything is based on the F.A.S.F.A.” to determine eligibility. Alonso explained that a lot of the issue has to do with funding for the departments as well as the creation of positions within those departments.

“The government gives us a certain allotment and then we offer it to our students,” she said.

This limited source of funding is the reason why not everyone can hold a position. The Financial Aid administration backs this statement about the issue being a lack of departmental funding.

“Some departments just simply do not have the budget for student workers and are not eligible to hire them. Therefore making positions on campus limited,” Alonso said.

“It wasn’t hard for me to get a job,” said Olivia Smith, a junior that works in the writing center at the Center for Academic Success.

“But I guess that’s because I applied at the right time. We are a small school so it makes sense that there aren’t a ton of jobs,” Smith said.

There are a few words of advice in order to avoid these limitations and still get a campus job.

“Students need to be proactive in order to get a position on campus. They need to submit the required documents to the Financial Aid Office on the first day of classes, apply to the positions and if necessary, walk into the department to provide the department with their resume and class schedule,” Alonso said.

“Students who are proactive will hear back quicker than students who sit back and wait.”

Students are not required to find jobs related to their majors. Katelyn Conroy, junior at Manhattan College is an English major, and her freshman year she needed a job but the only department available for employment was the IT department.

“[It’s] not a job I expected to have, but I learned a lot and met people I am still friends with, so I guess it was a blessing in disguise,” she said.