DDS faces trouble attracting workers

by David Klein | 4/25/01 5:00am

With the wealth of Dartmouth student employment opportunities available to undergraduates, the Dartmouth Dining Services finds itself with "one of the worst" turnouts for student employment in the past five years, according to DDS Director Tucker Rossiter.

After numbering a relatively dismal 100 students during the fall--more than half the number of students that had been employed previous terms, Rossiter said that the number has further declined to less than 80 students on the payroll.

While Rossiter explained that DDS eateries, including Food Court and Novack Caf, are able to maintain late hours with the current workforce, he described the current recruitment efforts as "not as good as we need to do."

According to Student Employment Office Director Donna Desjardins, between 300 and 500 student employment opportunities are offered at any given time. The number of job postings is slightly lower, as employers may seek multiple students for a particular posting.

Though the SEO does not have current student employment numbers, the number of undergraduate student employees paid on a bi-weekly basis was 980 during the 1999-2000 fiscal year, up from 950 in the previous fiscal year, according to Desjardins.

Also on the rise is the Dartmouth student employment minimum wage, which will jump from $6.00 to $6.25 per hour in July. Leave-term students are paid an additional $.25 per hour.

Though DDS wages start at $7.25 per hour, with the added incentive of a 20 percent discount off food purchases, Rossiter explained that the availability of numerous other work options on campus has deterred many students from joining the DDS staff.

Matt Richards '01, a student supervisor who has worked for DDS since his sophomore year, has been pleased with his experience there. In addition to the wage and food discount, Richards said that the friendships he has established with many of his fellow staff members have encouraged him to continue working.

Rossiter said that a number of the students who are currently employed by DDS have worked for the service for multiple terms. He added that DDS staff members are currently discussing ways to improve student employment and hopes to implement new recruiting initiatives by the end of spring term.

Student employment, however, has not been a problem at the Collis Center, according to Acting Director of the Collis Center Brenda Goupee. Positions such as information desk representatives and student mangers, who are in charge of the facility when the full-time professional staff is off, are regularly filled, said Goupee.

In all, Goupee estimates that Collis employs approximately 40 students each term. She believes that the Center is a popular place to work because of its central location on campus.

Desjardins noted that jobs offered by the Tucker Foundation, the Athletics Office and Berry/Baker Library are also popular with students.

The SEO also offers a number off campus jobs through local employers.

Students can find out about job opportunities on the Jobnet search engine--found on the DCIS database--which regularly updates offerings from the Student Employment Office.

Openings are also posted on the SEO blitz bulletin board and on the SEO bulletin board in the lower level of Collis.