In October’s President’s Advisory Council meeting, a question was submitted to President Paul Sechrist asking why OCCC’s student workers are limited to working only 20 hours a week when, in the past, they could work up to 30 hours a week.
The Pioneer — staffed by mostly student workers — posed the same question to Sechrist in an e-mail.
Sechrist responded by saying in the last two years, OCCC has dramatically increased employment opportunities on campus with the amount of wages paid to students exceeding $1.1 million, which he cites as an increase.
In layman’s terms, this means more students are working on campus now so, as a result, fewer hours can be given to each because of limited funding.
Also, he said, a study by “Inside Higher Education” found that working more than 20 hours a week has a negative impact on student grades, whether the employment is on campus or off.
While it’s commendable for the president to be concerned that OCCC students have an opportunity to be better students, it seems he should take other things into consideration as well.
OCCC is a commuter college where a majority of students are adults.
Some of these adults might be single parents or have families they provide for.
For some of those students, working a second job is not a choice, but a necessity to survive.
So, instead of working 30 hours a week on campus, some are working two jobs — one on campus and another off campus.
Or, in some cases, students are having to resort to getting public assistance, adding more stress.
There also are students on campus who have had to drop classes in the past because of the lack of income to keep their families afloat while trying to seek an education that would improve their standing in life.
OCCC should — at the very least — meet students halfway by allowing those with a GPA of 3.0 or higher to work on campus up to 30 hours a week.
By increasing work hours for those who are academically successful at OCCC, it is one less question Sechrist would have to answer for students.