Students share pros, cons of working on, off campus

Austen Brown, Staff Reporter

Working on-campus jobs has both perks and drawbacks when compared to working off campus.

Niarra Mitchell, a senior with a major in emergency management and disaster preparedness, works at the security desk at Booth Library and said that on-campus jobs work with schedules much better than off-campus jobs.

“The scheduling is different,” she said. “Most (off-campus jobs) don’t … work with your schedule. (Off-campus workers are often) scheduled at nighttime. They (also) don’t let you go for spring break and winter break.”

Another possible benefit that comes with having a job on campus is that most are close to the residence halls and students’ classes.

“(My work) is not that far from where I live,” Mitchell said. “I (do not) have to commute … very far.”

She also said that getting co-workers to take her shift is much easier, and her employers understand that she needs time to study and do homework.

Though the Booth Library does not close until 1 a.m. on most nights, Mitchell said she is often allowed to do her homework while she works her job behind the security desk.

“I can do my homework (on the job),” she said. “(At) most jobs on campus, you can actually do your homework at the computer as long as you’re … still paying attention to the people around you.”

On the other hand, she said people who work on campus do not make as much money as off-campus workers do.

“(Student workers) don’t get paid as much as the people who work off-campus do,” Mitchell said.

This was something that Deb Kistner, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, and Sarah Bryden, a senior with a double major in finance and health administration, said they agreed with as well.

“(Eastern) only pay minimum wage,” said Bryden, who works at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Bookstore. “There’s no opportunity for (student workers) to … get a raise, (even) if you work (the same job) all four years.”

Kistner, who also works at the bookstore, said its workers do not get tips, whereas a similar job off campus might offer them.

Not understating the benefits, however, Bryden said her job allows her to interact with her peers.

“You get to become friends with people (that) you normally wouldn’t have opportunities to,” she said.

They also had thoughts similar to Mitchell’s about their employers’ understanding that classes come before anything else.

“(On-campus employers) are used to working with students, so they understand their need for studying,” Bryden said.

“Sometimes (our employers) will let us leave early if they know that we have a test,” Kistner said. “They know that school comes first.”

Bryden and Kistner said getting to work is easy as well, given that their job is on campus.

“When you have class, it’s easier to get to and from (work),” Kistner said.

They said that one other perk to working on campus is that the bookstore closes at 5 p.m. on weekdays, which means they are not scheduled to work nights.

Austen Brown can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].