Student employment understaffed

Elise Stiemsma— Staff Writer 

Student employment lacks workers in the Grille, Commons, and maintenance, leading to larger responsibilities for other student employees. This lack of workers means Teacher’s Assistants have to take out trash for their departments. 

The student employment office actively looks for more student employees to work in maintenance, but are struggling to fill these positions, pushing this workload to TA’s and other employees. To properly fill all maintenance tasks, especially with the addition of the American State Bank Sports Complex, the department needs at least fifteen more student employees in maintenance: a near impossible goal. 

There are unfilled positions for cleaning professor’s offices, as current maintenance staff can only cover the open spaces throughout campus. Cleaning professor’s offices includes possible contact with personal information, so TAs, who already have signed a confidentiality report, made sense to recruit. However, some professors refuse to make their TA’s do cleaning and have opted to clean their offices themselves. 

Changes to requirements of positions are not unprecedented. In 2020, library student workers began taking out trash and cleaning parts of the library as part of their employment, similarly following for employees in the DeWitt Gymnasium. 

A little over 700 students work on campus filling about 860 positions. This means about half of campus works in student employment, many covering more than one job. 

“I would hope that TAs and departments understand that it is asking a little bit more, but in the majority of departments the duties can be split up amongst multiple TA’s.” Kyle Achterhoff, Director of Student Employment, said. “This is an additional duty, but will not require too much added effort.” 

Achterhoff stressed the valuable experiences in student employment. 

“[Student employment] promotes joy-filled work, and making meaningful connections, regardless of the nature of the work,” Achterhoff said. 

The student employment office works with students, so that if they want to work more hours they can. As so many areas are understaffed, they are especially willing to work with students that have interest in further positions. Achterhoff said students work an average of 6-7 hours per week, but some work only 2-3 hours, and others up to 15 hours a week. 

Achterhoff noted that work hours tend to vary based on the other responsibilities of students in a given week; managers understand that finals week, weeks of concerts, and midterms all mean students are less available. 

Dordt applies Kuyperian principles to all its departments, student employment being no exception, that working in maintenance, the Commons, or as a TA can all bring glory to God when done well. 

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