DDS student jobs face elimination

by David Horowitz | 5/19/97 5:00am

The jobs of all Dartmouth Dining Services employees -- including student workers -- are in danger beginning this fall, when DDS begins scaling back its current hours and services.

It is inevitable that if dining facility hours are reduced, so will the work-hours of student employees, said Associate Director of Dining Services Tucker Rossiter.

"That's where we have to cut costs," he said.

Rossiter said no definite decisions about cuts in operation hours or employee hours have been made yet, but that anything was possible.

"No jobs are secure -- not union, not non-union, not student, not management," he said.

The decision to cut back services was influenced by the recent Student Assembly-sponsored student referendum, in which students voted overwhelmingly to cut back DDS services in return for a lower minimum declining balance account meal plan.

DDS needs to cut its operating cost of $9 million by five to ten percent per year in order to break even, Rossiter said.

Michael Bruno '99, an employee at West Side Buffet, said he is unsure as to how the DDS scale back will affect him.

"They're not telling us anything," he said. "I honestly don't think [DDS] knows what they're doing" next year about employee jobs.

Bruno said he did not think he would be fired but West Side Buffet Area Coordinator Nathan Cook '98 said it is likely that all West Side employees' hours would be reduced beginning this fall.

"What I've been told," Cook said, "is they won't hire as many new freshmen next year but no [presently employed] students will lose their jobs completely."

Cook said 20 students work at West Side Buffet for about ten hours a week each. He said he did not know how many hours they would be working next year.

"Its totally up in the air," he said.

Many students depend on their DDS jobs for part of their tuition. The students who are employed for work-study receive about two-thirds of their paycheck from the U.S. government, Rossiter said.

Rossiter said all DDS jobs could potentially be scaled back, including work-study employees.

The ad hoc committee formed to evaluate the future of DDS will take the fate of student workers into consideration in its decisions, committee member and student representative to the Trustee Committee on Finance Rachel Bogardus '98 said.

"We don't want to create a big problem with students being able to find employment, but we feel that there are sufficient numbers of work study jobs on campus if DDS decides to cut the number of student positions it offers," Bogardus said.

Rossiter said the ad hoc committee could begin meeting to discuss what cuts will ensue as soon as next month.