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Fewer jobs for students in 2009

BY CHRIS CLARK | FEBRUARY 19, 2009 7:44 AM

Students are being laid off, the UI’s Jobnet is offering fewer positions, and finding some extra cash for the weekend seems harder than ever.

Across the campus and nationally, people are already feeling the effects of a dwindling economy.
In January 2008, Jobnet — the UI’s employment advertising website — advertised 184 on-campus jobs, compared with 101 in this past January. The number of off-campus jobs in January 2009 dropped to 127 — a decrease of 50 jobs compared with January 2008.

“With the economy the way it is, employers have to decide if they can afford to hire another employee,” said Cindy Seyfer, an associate director of Student Financial Aid.

Campus Mail, a division of UI’s Central Mail Services, was forced to cut seven student jobs last week because of budget concerns, UI spokesman Steve Parrott said.

It’s leaving some worried.

“I was kind of nervous last week, but they have been pretty good and pretty open with us about the situation,” said UI junior Matty McCarter, who delivers for Campus Mail.

McCarter, who has worked there for a year, said he is no longer worried about losing his job since the cuts.

Some of the first major layoffs around campus happened at the end of last year.

In November 2008, officials notified 32 student employees they would be released the next month from UI Pharmaceuticals, a division of the UI College of Pharmacy in charge of making drugs for drug companies.

Parrott said they were laid off because of the division’s drop in business since last year.

“I know they were disappointed they had to take that step,” he said. “It had nothing to do with the quality of the students’ work, but they had to make cuts somewhere, and in this case, unfortunately this was their only choice.”

Under Gov. Chet Culver’s proposed fiscal 2010 budget, UI officials would have to cut $26 million.
UIHC spokesman Tom Moore said although there haven’t been “significant” student layoffs so far, hospital officials are following the lead of state Board of Regents President David Miles, who said every option is on the table when it comes to balancing the budget.

Though the budget cuts are being experienced all over campus, some departments are still doing all right.

Lori Berger of IMU human resources said she is glad to be able to say that at the IMU, there haven’t been any student layoffs at all.

When the flood ruined the basement of the IMU, she said, a lot of the employees in Food Services lost their positions simply because their workplaces were closed down, but IMU officials did their best to help.

“We e-mailed all of those students and gave them the opportunity to be placed in other areas,” she said. “Some students chose not to return, and we left it up to them to contact us to inform us of their interest in being relocated, and we worked hard to help them out.”

The reality is that in rough economic times, consumers, employers and employees all feel the effects.

UI junior Keli McLaughlin said she was laid off at UIHC two weeks ago after a year of work.

“At first I wasn’t too upset about it just because I wasn’t in love with the job,” she said. “But now I’m kind of bummed because I’m trying to find another job and nobody is hiring anymore.”


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