Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
For many of us, Sharples is a source of nourishment, a social hub, and a conversation piece in and of itself but for a few Swatties, Dining Services is also an employer.
Ashley Acle, ’11, is one such employee who posts online menus, manages Sharples’ recipe database, and responds to student comments.
“I began working with Dining Services at the beginning of my freshman year. After talking with some friends from other schools who had jobs in the Dinning Hall, I decided to see if I might be able to get a job in our dining hall. There were no jobs posted, but I asked around and was fortunate enough to find one,” says Acle.
Acle enjoys the job noting that she has “developed a much greater appreciation for food service” in addition to becoming more familiar with the people behind Dining Services.
Director of Dining Services Linda McDougall elaborates, “In the past we have had students work with catering the coffee bars and snack bar. Catering seems to be the best fit since it works well with the students’ schedules since there is some flexibility…. The composting team and the employees of the Mary Lyons breakfast room are also employees of dining services.”
Amalia Feld ‘12 works with Sharples as Sustainability Coordinator, a position she discovered through the Good Food Project. She assists in finding local, sustainably-grown produce as well as increasing the vegan and vegetarian offerings. She observes, “I really enjoy working with our Dining Services and have found Linda and Janet [Director of Purchasing] to be incredibly open to change and truly committed to meeting Swarthmore students’ needs.”
Students like Acle and Feld are paid according to the Student Employment wage system, unlike other Dining Services staff who qualify for a “living wage.” As Director Linda McDougal explains, this is part of the college’s policy. “If there are positions available, then a Swarthmore student can fill the position. We surely would consider them for employment.”