As the University of Oregon continues to grow in both population and programs, it will rely heavily on its student infrastructure.
According to UO Human Resource Data and Compliance Coordinator Kerry Davis, that means more student jobs.
About 3,600 students worked on campus in 2012 — an increase from the previous year, Davis said. Student employment plans to continue the hiring trend as soon-to-be completed projects — like the expansion of the Student Recreation Center — will require additional student staff.
“We function off of students,” Tiffany Lundy, assistant director of membership services said. “The majority of the money coming into the department is off of the student fee and a significant amount of the money goes back to the students through employment.” @@http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/tiffany%2Alundy@@
The physical education and recreational department employs about 300 student workers like lifeguards, personal trainers and office staff. About 120 of its student employees work for its facility operations. Because the Student Recreation Center retains a high percentage of students from year to year, Lundy states that only 25-35 spots open up every year. Last spring, the Rec had over 500 students apply for few positions.
“We can’t operate without students,” Lundy said. “They are integral in everything we do.”
Unlike other places on campus, the Rec does not require students work-study eligibility, like many campus employers.
In the work study system, the federal government allots money for the University to fund salaries of qualified students. That money pays for a percentage, often the majority, of the student’s earning before the employer pays the remaining amount from their operating budget. About 1,666 students earned funds under the federal work-study program for the 2012-13 academic year.
According to Jim Brooks, the director of student financial aid and scholarships, the federal government has allotted $1,581,979 for work study for the last several years. @@http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/jim%2Abrooks@@
Not all work-study jobs are found on campus and for many students, the commute to their job can make it difficult to justify.
Though she has work study, UO senior Cassie Soucy found it difficult commuting via transit to her former job located near Valley River Center between classes. @@http://uoregon.edu/findpeople/person/cassie%2Asoucy@@
Soucy now has a job on campus that’s “pretty low-key,” and lets her do homework as long as the work is getting done. For her, flexibility at her workplace is essential for her fast-paced lifestyle.
“The perks of having an on-campus job is that they understand the college student’s lifestyle a little better than the outside of the campus area,” said Soucy, who is a current employee of the Lillis Business Technology Center. “So it’s super flexible with my schedule.”
From an employer’s standpoint, Davis understands that academics come first.
“Students are students first, so we don’t want to impede on their class time or study (time),” Davis said.