student workers

Sorry Lion workers, you’re not going to like this very much; but hear me out. I cannot count the amount of times I have shared conversation with student assistants over the phone. It’s quite the experience.

LMU has decided to hire an influx amount of student workers as opposed to hiring qualified, professional, workers. Don't get me wrong, I am all for Lion workers learning new trades and professions. There are the mini mail carriers in the mail room, junior UPS workers in the distribution center, journalists for the Loyolan … you get the point. I just believe that LMU should put an end to these student administrative hirings immediately, and here’s why.

When I say that my experiences over the phone with these assistants have been interesting, I mean they feel like a camel trying to go through the eye of a needle. Whether it be requesting help with my own student worker time sheet, or requesting help on financial aid, student workers have been unprepared, ill-advised and inept in dealing with such questions. I promise you, I am not alone, folks.

“The most these assistants have helped me with is telling me that their boss is at lunch. Otherwise, I observe them doing homework or playing on their phones,” stressed Van Henkels, a student worker and junior entrepreneurship major.

It is essential, however, to illuminate the root of the problem before blaming our student counterparts. After all, we are in this together. As so, we must confront LMU and make sure that they are continuing their commitment to improving our lives, inside and outside the classroom. I certainly hope that the national trend in universities acting like corporations has not struck our grounds.

Yes, student jobs benefit students. But so too does it benefit the University. The more minimum wage workers they hire, the more money they save, potentially by millions. You probably don’t believe me, but it just makes sense. Our students get paid the Los Angeles minimum wage which is $14.25 an hour, whereas professional assistants are paid, on average, of $53,000 a year in California. I work 15 hours a week, a schedule similar to that of student assistants, and only net less than $2,000 a year. Capitalism, shoo!

So where do we go from here? No, student assistants, do not go and quit your jobs. Please, office bosses, do not fire our wonderful students. Instead, let us start by improving the current broken system and work on rebuilding a new one. There is plenty of money to go around at LMU, surely enough to reel in a few new hires. Take it from myself, an ex-student fundraiser for the University. Monday through Friday, from our parents, cousins and alumni classmates, students are reeling in thousands in donations. The money is there, it is just a matter of distribution. I urge the University to spend money or time on student assistant training, in addition to the hiring of new professionals.

“I’m not one to get upset about customer service, but dealing with student assistants gets to me. Most of the time my calls were super important,” added Henkels.

We can do better, LMU. I believe in us, our student workers, and our future. I am proud of all the amazing strides that this place has taken and I look forward more progress.

This is the opinion of Jonathan Ross, a sophomore English major from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Tweet comments @LALoyolan or email

(1) comment


Yes, I agree. We must add more costs to the experience of going to university.

Student tuition is not high enough. And student debt needs to be even larger.

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