By April 8, Federal Work Study will officially end

Written By Cassandra Harris, News Editor

The Federal Work Study (FWS) Program is now set to end on April 8, according to an email from Access Services and Archival Coordinator Philip Harrity.

A previous email from Human Resources sent on February 20 said that the program would end between March 19 and April 1. It was not announced how programs would continue to operate without a Work-Study for the last three weeks of the semester.

Melvin Mikolon is a Work-Study senior animation major who works in Student Production Services (SPS). SPS provides comm, cinema and animation majors with the opportunity to rent out camera equipment, film equipment and stylus for classes. Its work study students are responsible for assembling requests for all film equipment that is checked out.

After receiving the email from Human Resources, SPS “scraped” together money so that they can continue to operate as normal the last three weeks of the semester.

“We kind of do everything,” Mikolon said. “That’s kind of what baffles me about it is how are we going to have students make films if there’s nobody in SPS? We work at the computers, we build orders, we give people equipment, check it in and check it out, stuff like that.”

At the time of the interview, they were busy putting together P1s. According to Mccullen, these orders are pretty large. They come with a camera card, case tripods, little kits, bounce cards and other equipment based on what a student asks for. 

The IT and media service departments that put together the money for the SPS Work-Study students were unavailable for an interview at the time of this article. 

“I just know that we’ve been notified,” Mikolon said. “Like, hey, the Work-Study is going to end but we’re going to find money to put together for it.“

Once the Work-Study money runs out, Mikolon is unsure if the hours that they are allowed to work will increase or decrease. Before their hours were reduced, Mikolon could work give or take 10 hours a week. It pays around 12 dollars an hour.

“I am blessed enough, like I don’t need this money that bad, so I can survive off of just five hours a week, biweekly paychecks,” Mikolon said. “But there’s a lot of people that can’t, so I’m hoping that it gets resolved and that people don’t lose their jobs.” 

In a statement previously submitted to The Globe, university spokesperson Lou Corsaro said that the reason for the program ending early is because funds “evolve” during a semester.

“In circumstances where the budget usage is high in any semester, measures are taken to manage that usage, for example by limiting Work during holiday or semester,” Human Resources Coordinator Ashley Bruder said in a statement previously sent to The Globe, “Limiting this usage enables the budget dollars to be stretched further into the semester. Because the FWS budget allocation was less this year than in previous years, these measures were not enough to avoid the FWS budget being exhausted before the end of the semester.”

Robert Stancampiano is an instruction librarian at the University Center. He spoke about the responsibilities that Work-Study students have in the library. 

“They do a lot of circulation, that’s like checking books out to students, picking up books from the book drop in Academic [Hall],” Stancampiano said. “Picking up mail and grabbing things from storage, basically, anything that can be done away from the desk, they’re very helpful for that. We always try to keep somebody here, you know, if anybody might need help checking anything out.”

According to Stancampiano, the librarians rely on Work-Study students for other various tasks like cleaning and putting things in order on shelves that can be “very time consuming.” The reduced hours cause this work to build up, after the Work-Study ends, the librarian’s jobs will become more difficult.

The Federal Work-Study students will only be able to work until the money runs out. With reduced hours, a part-time librarian already has to work most of his shift alone. He either has one or no Work-Study student with him on Saturdays.

“On Saturdays we have one part time librarian working and he’s not going to have any student workers, so he could be here by himself for the whole shift so there’s certain things that he can’t do, like go to storage to grab things or to have the book drop emptied.”

The office of student accounts also relies on Work-Study students. 

Kaia Johnson is a sophomore dance major with a concentration in modern. She has a Work-Study to help her parents pay for her grocery and tuition bills. 

“I believe I’m the only work study for student accounts,” Johnson said. “But financial aid and student accounts kind of work in tandem, and I think they have three work studies.”

She works two hours on Mondays and three hours on Fridays. 

“It’s going to be a lot more on them,” Johnson said. “I help filter out calls and send people that come into the office to the appropriate student accounts counselor; and then get the mail, taking things back and forth in the mail room. So, all of that is now going to fall on the counselors. So, they’re going to have to focus on a lot more office duties versus just helping out students.” 

According to Human Resources coordinator Bruder, “the tentative budget for the 2023-2023 academic year has been increased, so this will hopefully not be an issue for students and department managers.”