According to coverage from the Daily Campus, UConn received over 200 applications for student show shoveling positions. Heavy snowfall left the school in unsafe disarray last winter, with snow banks piling up against North Garage.
Parking lots (e.g., Charter Oaks and Busby) also became inconvenient and dangerous hazardous areas. The expansion of this snow shoveling initiative, which began last winter, will be well received by the student body as a positive move by the university to provide more student employment opportunities.
Students will take advantage of the job opportunities that this shoveling offers, especially due to the job’s niche. Snowfall is most often accompanied by class cancellations, so students in need of extra income, but who have little time to work due to busy academic schedules, will be able to make some money without reconciling it with multiple classes, internships or extra-curricular activities.
The jobs are also incredibly lucrative for college students at a pay of 16 dollars per hour, according to Daily Campus coverage. Most student jobs offered by the school, such as an entry-level position with Dining Services, pay only minimum wage or slightly higher.
In an undergraduate student body of 18,395, 200 students is a drop in a bucket, being just over 1 percent of the undergraduate population. Though these positions do not qualify as a great increase in student employment opportunity, the openings do follow a trend set by UConn, in which students are employed whenever possible, such as in the Student Recreation Center or dormitory mail rooms.
An increase of students working on the roads adds a degree of efficiency to restoring the campus after a winter storm, and will be especially helpful if Storrs bears the brunt of another snow-laden winter. In the winter of 2015, reallocation of the snow took a long time, but with a larger workforce, the process might be more efficient.
Regardless of the level of snowfall this winter, it is commendable that UConn is making a move to offer more jobs to students greatly in need of them. Hopefully the future will bring greater opportunities for more regular and seasonal student employment on behalf of the university, which has already done a tremendous job at seeking out students to fill positions when possible.