Work study cuts will alter distribution of campus jobs

Following state budget cuts, Career and Employment Services anticipates a loss in state funding to work-study employment for the upcoming summer and 2011-2012 school year.

Of the approximately 1,300 Puget Sound students who are employed under work-study, almost all of them will receive a cut in the maximum award granted.

The cuts target the number of hours students can work, with the only exceptions being students working in security services.

The decision was made by CES in March, when they began talking about a way that would have the least impact on students and the departments that employ them on-campus.

CES Director Kim McDowell said that they are not cutting any positions at this point and have instead decided to reduce the number of hours students can work by 10 percent.

McDowell acknowledged that although this is a small reduction, it still has a large impact on students and the departments that employ them.

Currently employed work-study students were notified about the change through their Student Employment Time Entry page on Cascade and via email.

McDowell said that the response from most students has been understanding and “it was not a surprise to most students that we had to make budget cuts in light of the current economic situation.”

And as a silver lining, McDowell explained how this has motivated CES to pursue finding more off-campus jobs for students. “Although off-campus jobs have become more competitive, CES can provide resources to help prepare students.”

CES maintains that they approached the budget cuts in the most thoughtful way possible to accommodate both students and the University departments that rely on their help so much.

The final budget cuts from the state will be decided in one month, after the Washington State Legislature concludes their special session. At that point, CES will know exactly how much they will need to cut work-study hours.