Elizabethtown College provides lots of opportunities for student employment. One area that is always looking for student employees is Dining Services. These employees work in the Marketplace, the Jay’s Nest, the Blue Bean and Catering Services.
However, this year there is a shortage of Dining Services staff. One reason for the shortage may be that some students have busy schedules. Because of this, it may be hard for them to balance academics and other activities with work. Another reason could be that other jobs on campus may be more appealing to certain students. For example, some students work with athletic teams either managing or overseeing equipment.
Money may also have an influence on why some students consider other employment.
“Dining staff members work hard for little pay,” fifth-year Dining Services employee Samantha Fellner said. “The lower enrollment of students could also contribute to the problem.”
Whatever the reason for the shortage in staff, many areas of the campus are being affected. Due to the shortage, some new changes have occurred within dining services. Certain food stations are now closing earlier. One example of this is the made-to-order station located at the Jay’s Nest. The station now closes at 9:45 p.m. every night.
Not only has Dining Services as a whole been affected, but individual staff members have also felt the impact.. The staff now must work harder to compensate for the lack of employees.
“The staff is spread out thinner,” Fellner said.
This can be tough, especially during the more popular lunch and dinner times. Some members also have longer shifts, depending on how busy the Marketplace gets.
Students on campus are the third group impacted by these changes. The Marketplace does a good job of providing a variety of food options. Some of these options, such as the grill and the deli station are also experiencing shortages.
The current staffing issues are causing there to be fewer people available to run these types of stations. When these stations become crowded, students have to wait in line longer. Also, closing certain dining options earlier makes it harder for busy students to find a time that works with their schedule.
To solve this problem, a few solutions could be posed. First, Dining Services could advertise more by putting flyers in students’ mailboxes. Additionally, students who currently work in dining services could be encouraged to reach out to their friends to recruit new members.
“The managers could use incentives to encourage recruitment,” Fellner said.
Dining Services could also give away a prize to staff members who bring in new employees, and perhaps the prize could be a gift card to somewhere in town or a free meal swipe.