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Soler, Bell push job board reform

John Cameron | Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Student employment opportunities are inefficiently advertised by the online job board, student body president Catherine Soler said.

“I think it’s a totally underdeveloped resource,” Soler said. “The biggest complaint is that it’s not as comprehensive as it should be.”

The Student Employment Office, a division of the Office of Financial Aid, runs the current job board. Campus employers must supply the Student Employment Office with information on job openings.

Soler said students suggested restructuring the page itself so that it is easier to access and navigate.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve heard was about making it a lot more user friendly. Right now they have broad, generic topics for what the jobs are, and sometimes there are no jobs beneath those topics,” Soler said. “Ideally we’d like to upgrade the software to something you can sort, by location, time or days of the week.”

Student body vice president Andrew Bell said confusion often arises from the application process being separate for each employer and detached from the job board itself.

“The theme of [the suggested changes] is just streamlining the searching and application process,” he said.

Regardless of the difficulties students face in using the page, Soler said a bigger problem is the lack of awareness of the job board’s existence and location.

“Another complaint is finding the job board is difficult since it’s under the student financial tab, not many students look there. Putting it in a place where it’s more visible to students would be better,” she said. “Another big thing is student awareness. Some people don’t even know it exists.”

Soler said departments’ reluctance to advertise certain jobs, presumably to avoid an excess of applications, presents an obstacle to an accurate job board.

“One complication is that not everyone wants to advertise jobs,” she said. “But we think, if over 40 percent of students are employed, everyone should have the opportunity to inquire.”

Soler said she felt improving student access to job information was especially important at Notre Dame, where some students face significant financial burdens.

“Notre Dame is an expensive place to be. Whether people are working for tuition, or spending money or any other reason, giving students the best opportunity for employment will definitely benefit the student body,” she said. “For something that’s this much of a necessity, with such a demand on campus, there should be an easier way for students to find these opportunities.”

Bell said campus employment offers students more than a paycheck.

“Beyond the obvious financial benefits, I think having a job is an important part of being a well-rounded person, especially as we look toward leaving Notre Dame as the most well-prepared people,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a difficult process.”