Letter to the Editor — Increase Student Employment Wages

Jenna Freeman

UW Oshkosh needs student workers, but at what price? I strongly recommend that the UW Oshkosh campus raises their student employment rate of pay to at least $10 per hour.

With a quick Google search, it is found on the university’s website that student workers start at a “base rate of $7.50 per hour,” which is only 25 cents more than the Wisconsin minimum wage. Tuition rates are increasing each year, and many college students must pay for this on their own. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s location does not make it easy for first year students that live on campus to find a job that is accessible to them. Most jobs would require transportation, which not all students readily have access to. Getting a job on campus would be the most ideal, but unfortunately the pay is what might push some away. 

Of course, there are many benefits to working on campus. It is a short commute, so many students are able to just walk from one building to another to get where they need to be for their job. Another advantage to having an on-campus job is that they are very flexible with schedules. Obviously, the employees are students, so they have classes to attend and studying that needs to be done. Full time students are extremely busy and having to worry about a job adds another thing to the plate. The benefits may seem great; however, these workers deserve to be paid more.

According to the Education Data Initiative, “38% of college dropouts said they left due to financial pressure.” Financial aid, loans, and scholarships are available to most students; however, this might not cover everything included in the price of tuition. Considering that the university requires first and second year students to live on campus, that adds about an extra $4,600 to the cost for a basic shared dorm room, according to the university’s website.

With an on-campus job that caters to a student’s needs, as well as an increase in pay, many of these students that are feeling financially unstable would have a little more security in their financial needs.