• The Crestiad

Minimum wage at Cedar Crest is not the only problem with on-campus employment


The Blaney Hall Administration building, which houses many different offices and resources including Student Financial Services.

Em Thomson

Writer


On campus employment can have many benefits when students first arrive to Cedar Crest College, but just like any job it can have some hidden drawbacks. 


Many of the school’s departments starting base hourly rate is $7.25 per hour, in solidarity with the federal minimum wage. For students, this rate can be a struggle to “stretch for everything like bill payments, textbook [costs], and groceries along with so many more emergencies or accidents that can surprise” young adults, student Alicen Conteh said. The federal and state minimum wage, along with Cedar Crest’s pay rates, need to be raised to match the inflation of living costs that individuals face today.


Another issue about on campus jobs here is the pay schedule. While the handy ADP Workforce system can allow student workers to clock in remotely via their personal devices, this school’s system has a major drawback. The typical pay schedule is set for students and even some faculty to only get paid once a month. Getting income only once a month does not accommodate any surprise needs like medical costs or car problems. 


“It’s strange that so much time passes,” Conteh remarked. “An entire month is way too long.”

These jobs are great starting points but can lack the networking skills and necessary separation of work and school that come from off-campus employment. This time spent off campus not only introduces the possibility of increasing your comfortability with the local streets and people, but also can give opportunities to expand one’s own personal communication and socialization skills. Having an off-campus job also help you get out and about the town more often. After spending an entire day working on essays, projects and presentations, it can be beneficial to have time outside in the sun and nature getting to and from work.


However, there is a benefit that student campus employees get that many jobs cannot offer: concern. The connection to the school is already established, so your education is valued and taken into consideration more often than with off-campus jobs. Many department employers are professors themselves, so these campus jobs help you “get to know staff and faculty better,” student Janice Cruz-Alicea said. “There’s usually more understanding about schoolwork and deadlines. They respect your boundaries with that stuff more.”

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