Student-workers weigh in on Simpson work-study wages


Paige O'Connor

Student workers have voiced frustrations at low wages and having to pick up more shifts due to the shortage of available workers on campus.

by Abby Ludwig, Social Media Editor

Simpson College’s student worker shortage has not only affected the college as a whole, but also the student workers who have had to cover other people’s shifts.

Students working at Millie’s make $9.25 an hour, higher than Iowa’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. That wage is the amount paid through Simpson itself. Some student workers have realized the possibility of getting paid more by being hired directly through Sodexo and having the opportunity to get paid more than the $9.25 hourly rate.

A student worker employed at Millie’s who wished to remain anonymous said that they’ve been tasked with opening multiple days a week. They said that they considered working with Sodexo, but it would have meant taking on more responsibilities such as working at other food stations in Kent Campus Center like Tyler’s Grille or SubConnection. 

“We’re having to not only balance academics but we’re also expected to work and put in our best efforts. That’s kind of hard when you’re getting paid shit,” they said. 

General Manager Julia Neer was asked to expand on the wage variance but was unable to comment at this time.

For day-to-day management, the Millie’s student worker said that things are handled rather well.

“With the minimal amount of workers that we have, it’s stressful on them also. They help me out by stepping in and serving up orders and they’re not expected to do that because they’re higher up,” they said. 

While there are some upsets over wage disparities, not all students in Simpson’s student worker program necessarily feel that way.

Lizbeth Cayetano, a student worker in the Carver Science Center office, likes Simpson’s student worker program.

“I usually just refill paper in the copier, I walk around and make sure flyers that are up aren’t outdated, check to make sure the bathrooms are clean, just basic little tasks,” she said.

Student-workers get paid $7.25 an hour. They receive monthly paychecks, the same as workers at Millie’s.

“I like Simpson’s work-study program. My supervisor, Becky, she’s super flexible and always understanding,” she said. “Most of the time I don’t really have much to do, I usually do my homework. It’s pretty chill and I get paid minimum wage.”

“The pay could be improved. But at the same time, I don’t do much. I think I could handle more responsibilities if I got paid more,” Cayetano said.

Connor Junkins is a student worker at Simpson’s athletic center. His duties include marking how many people come into the gym, cleaning up equipment, and monitoring the desk.

“It’s not a very complex job to do,” Junkins said.

Students at the Athletic Center’s front desk also make $7.25 an hour.

“For the most part I like my work-study for what it is, it can be a little complicated sometimes to find shifts but as long as you’re ahead of the game it’s pretty easy,” he said. “I could always use more pay but at the same time for the amount of stuff I’m doing $7.25 is pretty reasonable I guess.”

Members of Simpson’s management have not yet responded to request for comment.