Students find flexibility and opportunities in campus work study

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Work study gives students with financial need the ability to work on campus to help pay for their education and has countless benefits for students.

The Federal Work Study Program gives students the opportunity to work in exchange for funds: funds that can be used for books and tuition. This program can be found at UW-Fox Valley and at 3,400 other colleges in the country.

Tracy Schwartz, a custodial supervisor on campus, has hired students in the building and grounds department. Schwartz said the jobs are easier to schedule and manage for full-time students.

“We are flexible and can work around your class schedule. There is no commute which allows you to work in between classes,” Schwartz said.

Dustin Burow, UW-Fox sophomore and student custodian in the building and grounds department, values the job’s flexibility.

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Dustin Burow, a sophomore, vacuums the UW-Fox campus for his building and grounds work study. · photo by Vinnie Oestreich

“At a job like McDonald’s or anywhere, the schedule is super rigid. If you’re two minutes late, they [don’t like that], and that’s not cool. [One time] I called Tracy two hours after my shift, and he didn’t realize I wasn’t there,” Burow said. “Work study’s super flexible.”

Burow also agreed with Schwartz that commuting is easier with campus jobs.

“As a nondriver, [working] on campus is really helpful to me. [Otherwise], I’d have to take the bus, and it might be an hour to get there,” Burow said. “Even if I’m making minimum wage and not getting the best hours, it’s got its own value.”

Another benefit that Senior Academic Librarian Ane Carriveau spoke of was taking the term work “study” to heart. She allows students who participate in their work study at the library to complete any homework after the shift’s responsibilities are fulfilled.

What is expected of students differs from each job that is available. The job responsibilities Carriveau mentioned are completely different than those of the Children’s Center, for example.

In the library’s case, workers’ roles focus more on customer service and upkeep.

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Students who work at the library return books to their shelf location. · photo by McKenna Sherman

“[Their responsibilities are] helping students who have questions about library services or resources [and] checking materials in and out and shelving books that were returned,” Carriveau said.

Pam Massey, associate professor of health, exercise, science and athletics, hires HES and athletic positions.

“In HES, it’s cleaning the fitness center equipment. In athletics, jobs involve working the athletic home games, scoring and concessions,” Massey said.

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HES work study employees are to maintain the fitness center in room 1866. · photo by McKenna Sherman

Instructors on campus argued that there are few major drawbacks in taking a campus job.

“[There are no drawbacks] that I know of,” Schwartz said.

Some also compared it to a regular community job.

“[Like a regular job, students may have access to] free food or discounts on clothing,” Massey said.

Carriveau, however, indicated that student workers seldom work as many hours as their community worker counterparts.

“Often, students get more hours working off campus,” Carriveau said.

UW-Fox’s work study regulations dictate no student may work over 25 hours per week, unlike most community positions. Most positions on campus advertise up to 10 weekly hours.

However, some students value flexibility and therefore want less hours to focus more on homework and school-related activities.

“Having the flexibility to work around your class schedule and the fact that you can work in between classes without having to drive anywhere and possibly finding a job that you are interested in,” Schwartz said.

It also allows time to balance personal obligations and relaxation time.

“Some mornings I have to feed [my kids] and get them to school, and then I like to go back and flop into bed,” Burow said.

Massey shared the opinion, adding that students can learn more about the business structures of UW-Fox by having a campus job.

“The ease of getting to and from the job, since you’re on campus, allows you to learn a little more about how different parts of the campus run,” Massey said.

Not only are the jobs good for the students, but they also benefit the school as well.

“As a library staff we get to build stronger relationships with our work study students. We often get their feedback on new ideas or directions we have for future library services,” Carriveau said.

For more information on the work study program and jobs available, visit UW-Fox Valley’s work study page.

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