With the fast approach of winter break at the University of Connecticut, most students are probably looking forward to going home and eating copious amounts of food – but others are looking forward to commuting or staying on campus over break to make extra money.
A few on-campus jobs need to fill student positions on the break, including dining and catering positions, positions at the front desk and in Residential Life. Some positions require on-campus students to continue using their room and board during the break.
UC Catering, which fills about 20 positions, will not require any student to board over break, as local student employees will commute to campus to work. In addition, while all the positions are voluntary, there is no shortage of volunteers, said General Catering Manager Steven Wojtyna.
“Many students are looking for the extra money,” Wojtyna said.
Students do not receive higher pay and are not scheduled to work on any holiday during the break. UC Catering won’t need to have student workers come in until the first and second weeks of January, Wojtyna said.
“We do have a few large banquets in January that require set-up service and breakdown of the events,” Wojtyna said. “We need the staff to work on some large banquets in January and help with the end of the year inventory.”
In the same vein, Dining Services has an estimated 50 student employees working over break, Dining Services Executive Director Dennis Pierce said.
Emily Roller, a first-semester junior consumer behavior major, is a banquet server for UC Catering, as well as a mailroom assistant and runner for the Front Desk. She is staying on campus during the break to work both jobs.
Like Wojtyna, Roller said neither job forces students to work; all positions are voluntary and are rarely if at all understaffed because students find the positions are an easy way to make some cash.
The Front Desk also does not force students to work holidays, though some do in order to make double time, Roller said.
“I know that for the Front Desk, people who were scheduled are actually asking for more hours,” Roller said. “A few of them were hoping to work a few 40 hour weeks to earn extra money.”
Since there are still some non-working students staying over break, the front desk remains open for 24 hours a day for room lockouts. Each of those shifts is eight hours, Roller said.
Because she works for the front desk, Roller will be able to stay in her current dorm free of charge. She had to apply for winter intersession housing, and the front desk waived the $500 fee.
She said that although there is a meal plan she can purchase for the break, she plans on buying and making her own food, which will be cheaper in the long run because she will only be staying on campus for week during the first few weeks of January.
“If the (housing) fee weren’t waived, I wouldn’t stay; it wouldn’t be financially worth it,” Roller said.
Residential Assistant and Hall Director student positions will be filled over the break as well, but individual RAs have stringent rules about talking to the media and were thus not available for comment.
The press spokesperson for Residential Life was also not available to accommodate a request for comment.
“A few of my good friends will be here as well, also working,” Roller said. “The work shouldn’t be too hard and I plan to work on some personal projects, as well as hang out with my friends while I’m here."