Work-study pay too low

by Staff Editorial

Chances are, if you’re a college student, you’re strapped for cash. Simpson offers a campus-wide cure-all for this epidemic: work study. These two magical words allow Simpson students a chance to earn extra cash – without even leaving campus.

What a great idea, right? Turns out, work study isn’t always as amazing as it sounds. Besides the fact that the wages are far below starting pay at off-campus jobs, the task assigned to students are often far from glamorous.

Take, for example, the unlucky souls who are assigned to the equipment room.

Elbow deep in dirty jock straps, these workers slave in an overheated room cleaning up after Simpson’s athletes.

And for what? An extra $5.15 an hour? Most students would gladly find another job.

Still, the Simpson administration deserves some credit. They don’t have to offer these jobs to students. Many schools make it almost impossible to meet the criteria for work-study jobs that are scarce on their campuses anyway.

Simpson needs to offer more sincere compensation to its work-study employees. Sure, students do benefit from working on-campus: they don’t have to leave early for work, they don’t have to drive to work, and, most of the time, they don’t have to get dressed up for it.

And while students do save money by not having to drive to work, they’re still getting a raw deal – to some extent. For example, a student working at Southridge Mall might make $8 per hour, and drive 24 miles there and back: about $3 in gas. Even if they work just one hour, they’re coming out ahead.

If we pay $245 per credit hour at Simpson, why can’t we be paid a little more for each work hour here? Simpson might argue that higher pay per student would result in the college not being able to offer as many work-study jobs overall, but there are ways for the college to save enough money for a student raise. Fewer paper-wasting campus-wide mailings would be a good place to start.

Six dollars an hour for work-study surely wouldn’t break Simpson’s bank. It would still keep the Undergraduate Assistant Program, with it’s $7-per-hour pay, more enticing to students – and it might help us afford that proposed student-fee hike.