College shows gratitude to student employees

Key checkers, office assistants, library book shelvers – they don’t have the most glamorous jobs, but the College wouldn’t function the same without them. That’s why, during the first week of April, the College joins in the national celebration of Student Employment Appreciation Week.

The week, designated by the National Association of Student Employment Administrators (NASEA), was recognized in a proclamation sent to the College by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

“Colleges and universities across the country take this week to say a special ‘Thank You’ to the thousands of student employees, who not only succeed in their academic endeavors, but also manage employment at the same time,” Corzine wrote.

College President R. Barbara Gitenstein sent an e-mail to the campus community to promote Student Employment Appreciation Week and express her gratitude to the student employees. “Their support cannot be measured in hours or dollars,” Gitenstein said. “Their enthusiasm, effort, commitment and dedication improve our productivity as an institution and contribute to the community at-large.”

There are approximately 1,500 student employees on campus, some working two campus jobs at a time. “(The office of Career Services) never has trouble getting applicants,” Patrick Young, student employment coordinator for the office, said. “I think there is a high demand for campus jobs because of the convenience of it.”

Student employees earn an average of $7 to $8 an hour depending on their job, and they work about seven hours per week. Students cannot work more than 15 hours per week so that academics remain a top priority.

Career Services notified all departments of Student Employment Appreciation Week, suggesting ways supervisors could reward their employees. “We try to encourage employers in each department to do something special for their student workers, such as take them out to lunch, give them a gift or show thanks,” Young said.

Not all student employees may have known that April 9-15 was their week of appreciation, but some said they don’t need the official celebration to feel valued.

“I didn’t realize it was Student Employment Appreciation Week, but I feel pretty appreciated,” Allison Hays, junior English and secondary education major, said. Hays has been working as a community advisor (CA) in Cromwell Hall since August 2005. “The department is pretty good. I get support from the residence director and from other staff members.”

CAs work in their residence hall offices once a week and devote their time to any problems or questions their residents have. “It’s cool to meet the freshmen and the people who I work with. There are different challenges with the job, which keeps it interesting, so it’s not a static thing,” Hays said. CAs receive free room and board, including a meal plan, and a $1,000 stipend per semester.

Student workers who knew that it was Student Employment Appreciation Week last week expressed gratitude for the recognition. “It’s a great week to appreciate the people who work for the school because they care about the campus community,” Ermal Bojdani, sophomore biology major and a hall security worker for Cromwell Hall, said.