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On-Campus Jobs: Students Discuss Stress and Experiences

Job postings | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian


Wright State University provides a plethora of options for paid work, and while students may be paid less than other jobs off-campus, students feel university jobs are convenient and help them develop useful skills. 

Student experience

According to Career Services, WSU has consistently held a student job pool of 1,600 students every year. These positions range from being a tutor at the writing center to a lab assistant for statistics. 

WSU is also unique in that they pay student leaders, some of which are students who work in the Coordinating Nine student organizations. One of such organizations is the Student Government Association, which began with more than five vacancies in the fall semester. 

Although these positions have now been filled, coordinating nine organizations have struggled with paid job turnover throughout the year after returning to in-person operations. 

Challenges such as turnover and struggling to fill empty positions can sometimes cause added stress for student workers. 

In addition to working another job at a local boutique, Commuter Senator Alaina Collins reports higher levels of stress in both herself and her coworkers, which she says is most likely due to balancing work, school and social life.

Collins says she often feels underappreciated in the work she does. 

“I do a lot of work behind the scenes that goes unnoticed. But then again, I didn’t get into this position for the praise. I am doing this work because it matters to me,” Collins said. 

Paul Casper, student office manager for the Outdoor Resource Center, also works a second job at Eudora Brewing Co. Casper argues that he and his coworkers deserve better pay. 

“We need special certifications and skills for our job and I just don’t think we are compensated enough. But this is Wright State and we all know we can’t afford that. Our trips are also very cheap due to how low we are paid,” Casper said.

ORC trips often require trip leaders and participants to camp together for upwards of a week, creating special demand for the leaders. Similar to this, Nathan Harriman, chief operating officer for ReyRey Cafe, finds unique demands in his role.

“There is the operations side of things and then there is actually making coffee and working in the coffee shop. Having never worked in the food industry or made coffee professionally there is definitely a learning curve,” Harriman said.

Resourceful 

Even though some students have grievances with hourly pay, the experience and life skills they gain from their on campus jobs allow them to enter the work force later as a resourceful and prepared employee. 

Sophomore Jared Hess works as an office assistant in the Office of Disability Services and feels his job is important because he gets to help other students. 

“It can be a bit dull at times, but it’s definitely one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had and I can honestly say I’ve never dreaded coming to work,” Hess said. 

Collins agreed that her on campus job equippes her with opportunities to network and gain valuable skills such as time-managment and collaboration abilities. 

“I enjoy the opportunities I have been given to connect and network with faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community,” Collins said.

If a student has an issue with their employment, they should contact their supervisor for their respective positions. If the issue is still not resolved, students may contact the Human Resources Office or the Ombuds Office.