For the first time, the college has collected data on student employment, made possible by JobX. Among other things, the data show that the most positions on campus are at the highest pay grade and that fewer first-years are employed than upperclassmen. The Student Employment Committee, which initially conceived of JobX, is reflecting on this data and collecting student feedback about JobX to guide future changes to student employment.
JobX was intended to streamline the process of finding a job, applying for one, and receiving important information regarding the job. Before JobX was initially implemented in the spring of this year, The Phoenix reported that a goal of JobX was to prioritize work-study students and to make the job application process easier for freshman and international students.
Director of Services Kristen Moore and Vice President of Finance Greg Brown presented the JobX data at a Student Government Organization meeting in early November, and asked senators for feedback on JobX and student employment in general.
Senators voiced that a primary concern prior to JobX’s implementation was the accessibility of jobs to first-year students; yet, the aforementioned report illustrates that while 301 seniors are employed on campus, only 183 freshmen are employed on campus.
Another question the data highlights is the efficacy of JobX in helping work-aided students get jobs, as more non-work-aided seniors than work-aided seniors found jobs on campus. Moreover, a significantly smaller amount of work-aided freshmen were hired compared to work-aided students of other years. While around 140 work-aided students were hired from sophomore, junior and senior classes each, only 116 work-aided freshmen were hired.
Additionally, only 57 percent of students hired by the top six hiring departments, OSE, General Athletics, the Libraries, LPAC, the Admissions Office, and the Music Department, were work-aided students. Some of the top six hiring departments also have a fairly low applicant hire rate, dipping as low as 21 percent by the libraries and 16 percent by the admissions office. However, LPAC and the Music Department maintain over 98 percent hiring rates.
Senators were also concerned by the small wage difference among pay grades, a concern that both Moore and Brown shared. The difference between the lowest pay grade and the highest pay grade is only 70 cents; yet some jobs require a much greater amount of labor or dedication.
For example, as reported in early October by The Phoenix, kitchen directors of The Crumb Cafe Adam Schauer ’19 and Henry Han ’20 logged 40+ hours each week at the beginning of the semester, personally training workers before the cafe’s opening. Jobs at the library, on the other hand, require less physical labor. Though nearly half of working students (48 percent) are in the highest pay grade ($10.40), both Moore and Brown agree that the small wage difference raises issues. In the future, they hope to get job descriptions for all on-campus employment and to reevaluate job wages.
Students have also raised several concerns about the JobX platform. At the meeting, senators voiced concerns that some job postings remain on the platform even once the positions are filled. One stated that employers should send out an email or a notification when they reject a student’s application.
Omar Camps-Kamrin ’20 uses JobX for the two jobs that he has on campus. Kamrin is a tutor for two music classes, while also working as a clinician helping students struggling with music theory. Though Kamrin technically works three separate jobs, he could not find the JobX posting for one of the jobs for which he had already been hired. He mentioned that, at first, he thought it was an issue with paperwork, but even after filling out all the necessary papers, he still could not find his job listing. This resulted in Kamrin not being able to access his job via MySwat, and, therefore, not being able to log his hours.
Kamrin also expressed some confusion regarding the JobX interface, though it was not as big a concern as his missing position on JobX.
“The interface itself is kind of confusing … I definitely think the website itself could use some renovations … and the interface itself could be a little more user-friendly.”
Nonetheless, administrators, such as Moore, feel confident in JobX and its potential to improve in the future.
“Now that the JobX system is in place, we will broaden our focus to include a number of related issues, including a review of wage and compensation structures, priority hiring for work-aided students, and guidelines for work rules and hours. The Student Employment Working group, which includes two student members, has already met this semester, and in the spring semester, it will begin to [examine] the current wage and stipend structure.”