Budget slashes affect student employment

University faculty aren’t the only cuts taking place

More stories from Elizabeth Gosling

When UW-Eau Claire students think of university jobs their peers hold, they might think of services like dining, the library, LTS, secretaries and more.

There are select on-campus jobs that are no longer paid positions, however, because of university budget cuts.

The Living Learning Programmer, a position in Living Learning Communities that organizes events, was a paid job that no longer exists in the Housing and Residence Life department.

Amanda Senger, a second-year Resident Assistant in a LLC, said LLPs planned programs and events separate from her own job.

“LLPs did a nice job planning the service learning project and community-specific programs,” Senger said.

In the past, there were 13 total programmers for learning communities. Quincy Chapman, Director of Housing and Residence Life, said the programs for those specific areas were expensive.

Since LLPs are no longer part of LLCs, RAs absorbed the duties programmers used to take care of in the learning community. Some LLC volunteers pick up the extra responsibility, as well.

With the budget cuts, money previously spent on those programs is being spent in other departments.

A constant among variables, however, the RA stipend is the same for LLC RAs. The reason for that being that they are planning for the whole wing, just with more specificity.

Chapman said the RA’s wages can be raised if they attend additional planning and training, which they can use for another job, which is around 10 hours extra per semester.

Along with LLP position cuts, residence halls will see a change in front desk positions. Junior Breanna Kelly is a manager at one of the front desks on upper campus, and said the desks were formerly open 24 hours and are now only open 19 hours.

“It was because those hours were the slowest for purchases at those times,” Kelly said. “The front desk is currently open from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.”

At the desks, workers sell food and drinks. Students are able to check out movies, sports equipment, keys for the workout room, music room or kitchen by asking the stationed worker.

According to Chapman, jobs such as the Think Tank and Weekend Custodial positions have been changed this year as well. The Think Tank aids the Housing and Residence life department and offers technology assistance. Their hours have been reduced by one hour.

Weekend Custodial positions employ students only. Instead of reducing positions, however, an increase is happening. Chapman said there are 24-25 new student positions. These students work in the dorms and around campus.

Sophomore Aurea Bergquist worked part-time for Facilities Management this past summer. This crew handles mowing lawns, landscaping, and mechanics among others on campus. She worked for the gardening crew, which handled weeding, pruning, planting and other duties.

“They discouraged us to work during the fall,” she said. “… I consider it contributing to campus, looking good. I see what I did here, and that feels really good.”

Senger said the university is planning for the future.

“I see the University still planning ahead to improve things and being mindful about everyone’s best interest,” Senger said.