State budget cuts likely to cost students’ campus jobs

Campus & Local, State

By Molly Roberson – 

Texas lawmakers’ efforts to balance the state budget are likely to cost some Tarleton students their campus jobs and result in reduced hours for other student workers. 

The number of student workers hired and amount of time that they work differs from department to department. In the Dick Smith Library, students are looking at potential job losses. In Environmental Services, students are looking at working fewer hours.

Dick Smith Library has approximately 30 student workers. Among those, “anywhere between 15-20 percent,” or five or six students, could lose their jobs, said Tonya Dobson, the library’s student worker coordinator. The library may be able to replace some regular student worker positions with work-study jobs for students on financial aid, she said.

“We’ll be utilizing work study a lot more because we only pay 25 percent of work study’s salary,” she said. The other 75 percent of work study jobs is paid by financial aid.

Budget cuts this year already forced Environmental Services to limit the number of hours student work. If additional cuts are needed next year, the hours may be lowered even more.

“We allow [students] to work no more than 20 hours a week,” Annie Barnes of Environmental Services said.

Melissa Bulman, a sophomore student worker for RecSports, says that 20 hours a week isn’t enough.

“Some students can’t live off of just 20 hours a week,” Bulman said.

Bulman also said that cutting student workers is a bad idea.

“There are a lot of other things the school could be cutting before a student worker,” she said. “I personally think [RecSports] should change their hours of operation. I’ve heard how much it takes to run the place with lights and electricity, and cutting just 5 hours from that weekly would do major enhancements for the budget.”

No official decisions can be made by any department until the Texas Legislature makes a decision on the state budget cuts.

“At this time our students aren’t in any jeopardy” of losing their jobs,  Barnes said. Cutting jobs “is one of our last lines of defense.”

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