Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed cuts to education funding might soon force students working on campus to seek employment elsewhere.
The state legislature is expected to vote on the budget proposal March 2. Counseling and Career Services Internship Coordinator Deb Artz said cuts in the budget jeopardize the ability of all university departments to hire and pay students. She said students should start looking for off-campus jobs, and that Counseling and Career Services will be holding a summer job fair March 3 in an effort to expand job opportunities.
“We don’t want student to get caught up in [the budget crisis], but they will. That’s reality,” Artz said. “We’re trying to be more aggressive with job fairs in order to have something to offset these expenses.”
Approximately 2,500 students are hired each year for campus jobs, according to the Counseling and Career Services website. On average, students make anywhere from $6.75 to $9 per hour working at jobs at the UCen, the libraries, Facilities Management, Recreational Sports and the Community Service Organization.
Campus Librarian Sara Pritchard said Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal would cut funds for the library by 7.5 percent. She said the library’s student workforce would absorb the majority of the cuts, which is one of the largest on campus.
“It looks very bad for next year,” she said. “Percentage wise, the single biggest place that we will have to cut is student employment.”
Director of Financial Aid Services Ron Andrade said many work-study jobs are also at risk. Work-study is a program that provides employment opportunities to students in which the university pays 70 percent of their wages and the employer pays 30 percent.
“Departments who have historically hired work-study students may no longer be able to hire any students, period,” Andrade said.
However, Andrade said the budget proposal may prove beneficial to work-study students in some areas, because employers may look to save money by hiring only work-study participants. If so, he said other students looking for on-campus employment may be at a disadvantage.
“Everybody is now watching their dollar a little more carefully,” Andrade said.