Like a first semester freshman’s Dawg Dollars balance, the number of students employed by Dining and Summer Conferences is declining.
When Dining first transitioned into being self-operated in 2009, the goal was to employ more students.
Suzette Conley, assistant director of Business Operations, said that while finding employees has never been easy, the difficulties have been increasing over the past year and a half to two years.
Gregory Lang, student payroll coordinator and administrative assistant, said the highest number of students employed this semester has been 360.
In contrast to past years where the height of employment was 435 to 440 students, Lang said the decline in employment reflects declining enrollment within the university.
“We have people that are always graduating, we have people that are always dropping out of school, we have people that are always finding more appropriate jobs for their majors,” Conley said.
To counter this problem, Dining and Summer Conferences is leading a thorough campaign to find new employment.
This includes table setup in Debot and the Dreyfus University Center, mass emails to off-campus students, posters and brochures. Conley added that Dining Services has hired more university staff temporary employees, but these employees are also challenging to find.
Their biggest success, Lang said, has been getting current employees to recruit their friends.
Dining Services has just implemented a program called WIN WIN WIN that will reward the location that recruits the highest number of new employees with a pizza party.
Alison Coady, sophomore graphic design art major and Dining and Summer Conferences employee, said she especially noticed the impact of fewer employees at the start of this semester because of the gap left by graduated employees.
“It’s unfortunate because it means we can’t give as good of service necessarily to our customers,” Coady said. “When you only have two servers, and you’ve filled more than half your tables, it’s really hard to do quick fast service for people.”
Despite these efforts, decreased employment means not every station can be open at all times.
The DUC has started to rotate open stations, and Upper Debot has begun running grill and pizza options on the main-line because they don’t have the staff to run the other lines.
Due to declining enrollment, Conley said Dining and Summer Conferences will make changes to their hours of operation, which is not necessarily a bad thing given the present difficulties with finding employees.
Olivia De Valk