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BRIEF: Delays in payroll cause student dissatisfaction

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Delays in the payroll process this past week left many students without their paychecks. Students who have worked since the beginning of the semester must now submit their timesheets late.

The lack of spending money during the first part of the year puts a burden on students adjusting to college life, leaving them with no income and unsure of when they will receive funds.

“It’s kind of tough; you can’t spend money for a while, and you have to think about how you’re going to ration it out,” said Izzy McClean ’20, who has held six jobs on campus during her freshman year, including manager of the Men’s Soccer Team, a position she still holds.

The delay in receiving timesheets happens at the beginning of each semester when employers fill positions. McClean often experienced delays in accessing her timesheet when she started a new job but afterwards received paychecks on time. McClean was unable to access the timesheet for one of her jobs for two months at the beginning of spring semester last year.

“It is annoying that you work all this time and you don’t get the benefits soon enough,” she said.

Many students were not added to the payroll for their department and so were unable to access their timesheets during the first work cycle. When students submit timesheets late, there is a process which may involve hours transferred to the next pay cycle two weeks later. McClean said Thursday she wasn’t able to access her timesheets for any of her jobs and that they hadn’t been updated since last semester.

Olivia Robbins ’21 still couldn’t access her timesheet two days after the end of the pay cycle.

“The Payroll Office emailed me saying I didn’t hand in all of my paperwork but I’m sure I did,” said Robbins. “Everyone is having trouble with the timesheets, so much so that our manager is manually inputting them for each student.”

For students involved in the work-study program, the delay is an added constraint on their budget. Wages earned by work-study participants form part of their financial aid, creating an additional frustration.

“You need [paychecks] as part of your tuition … If you’re not getting payed for your own expenses then your parents are paying that part of your tuition which they shouldn’t be,” McClean said.

The process of getting timesheets out to students involves managers filling out paperwork and submitting it to the payroll office for approval. The payroll office then approves the positions and gives students the ability to access timesheets which they must fill out and submit before the end of the pay cycle, according to director of payroll Karen Phillips. Delays in this process can occur on the management end, when managers wait until the very end of the first pay cycle to fill out paperwork and officially “hire” their students. The payroll office has had a large number of student employment forms and not enough time to process all of them. As a result, students haven’t been able to get their timesheets in time.

Phillips acknowledged that although they hired three new student employees this year, the office is still backed up. Students complained that the office wasn’t responding to emails and phone calls.

Phillips mentioned that the college will roll out a new system next fall to streamline the process. This new framework called JobX will be connected to students’ MySwat portal and will allow managers to instantly hire students and give them access to timesheets, removing the middleman. The system also will offer a common application for all jobs on campus and make sure financial aid students receive priority in the hiring process.

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