While Occidental takes great pride in the number of student employees on campus, there is still a large percentage of students here who are not employed by the college. With the exception of the larger employers like the Green Bean, The Occidental Weekly and Telefund, on-campus jobs are sparse for students who are not international students or do not have work study.
Instead of interpreting this dearth of student jobs on campus negatively, students should take it as an opportunity to pursue jobs off campus. There is no denying that the current job market is grim, but there is no harm in trying.
Applying for and getting jobs off campus would not only give more job opportunities to those who do not have on-campus jobs for whatever reason, but also would improve the college’s image in terms of community engagement. In Eagle Rock, there are many restaurants and cafes that give student discounts to Occidental students, indicating that these business are fully aware of the amount of business they get from students in the neighborhood. It is important to continue to give small, local business such as Yogurt Haven, Thai Eagle Rox and The Oinkster our business on a regular basis; it would be even better to be able to participate in the community by offering our services as employees.
We are not only encouraging those who do not have jobs on campus to pursue working off campus; students with on-campus jobs might also have time to dedicate a few extra hours a week to working at Señor Fish, for example. Occidental does not allow student workers to log more than 15 hours per week, and with those kinds of hours, even the highest paying jobs on campus do not allow students to make enough money for basic needs, especially for students living off-campus who pay rent and buy groceries.
The nature of working off-campus is that the employer is not affiliated with the college and therefore will not limit students’ hours just because they are students. Those who have the time, qualifications and skills to take on a job off-campus, even if it is in food services or retail, should pursue such an endeavor: not only for experience in the “real world,” but also to give students more reasons to get off campus and explore the communities surrounding the college.
This editorial represents the collective opinion of The Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the editorial board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental community.