20-hour cap drives student jobs off campus

By Gabriella Scibetta

Many students who have an on-campus job are seeking a second job off-campus to make ends meet.

Students now are able to work only 20 hours a week because of the new policy implemented May 11.

Many said the 20 hour cap isn’t giving students enough money to cover expenses.


Students were able to work nearly 30 hours every week before the policy was introduced.

Kevin Bame, vice chancellor of administration and finance, said the University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago State University, Western Illinois University and Loyola University also limit student employees to 20-hour work weeks.

Part-time civil service employees at the university are limited to 900 hours within a 12-month period, Bame said.

Taylor Serrata, a junior from Kankakee studying criminal justice, said she began working at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches because she wasn’t making enough money to pay her rent. Her on-campus job is working as a New Student Programs orientation leader.

Bame said the policy only affects 20 percent of the students who work on campus because 80 percent of students worked less than 20 hours a week already.

Thomas Becker, a junior from McLeansboro studying marketing and business economics, said the cap presents good and bad effects on students.

The Affordable Care Act enforced the health care law in 2010, which required the school to insure full-time employees. The law states the school will be fined $2,000 every time an employee works more than 30 hours a week.


Brenda Escutia, a senior studying social work, said the work cap has hindered her ability to complete academic work for her field of study.

“This year I was planning on getting another job,” Escutia said. “But since the cap is at 20 hours, I am not able to get paid for my undergraduate research that I wanted to do this semester … Now students are limited … where they might not make enough money to pay their bills.”

Bame said the cap was passed in the best interest of students.

“[It can be] difficult to work full time and maintain a good GPA,” he said. “[We] value student employees and they significantly contribute to the mission of the university.”

Four student employees who were approached to give their opinions regarding the 20-hour cap declined to comment and three wished to remain anonymous in fear of losing their jobs.

Gabriella Scibetta can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @Gscibetta_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 254.