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photo/Annelise Suber
photo/Annelise Suber

During 11 weeks of sweltering summer days, one of the best options is to spend time next to the pool drinking a cold lemonade. But for the 75 to 90 students remaining on the Principia College campus this summer, lounging by the pool must take a back seat to the need to earn some extra money. Kristen Harrison, Human Resources’ student employment manager, said “It is rare for students to not find employment,” as the “[c]ampus depends on students.”

Students stay on campus between two and 11 weeks, with some working 40 hours for each of two weeks, while others work 10 to 20 hours a week throughout the summer. Sixty percent of the student jobs are a continuation of what those students did during their semester work, whether it was working in the store, dining room, gym, with facilities or as a lifeguard.

However, students are not limited to keeping the same job, or a single one. According to Harrison, 84 students were on campus during the summer of 2013, and 124 jobs were worked by those students. This allowed many students to work in multiple departments.

In addition to the usual school year jobs, there are summer-specific opportunities. The Alumni office usually hires four students to coordinate classes, excursions and concerts. The Office of Student Life offers jobs with positions as resident and international resident assistants for a few weeks of the break.

Various departments, including Admissions and the President’s and Human Resources offices, also chip in to help students earn money to pay off their PrinBill, or to get some experience.

New faces also work on campus for two weeks in June during the summer session, where children of Dining Services and Facilities workers join Upper School and College students.

For the off-chance that an international student does not get a job for the break, or if they work fewer than 10 hours a week, according to senior Mariana Leite, he or she may sign a waiver and not pay the break housing rent. The waiver needs to be approved by the Office of Student Life.

This offer is only open to international students because they are restricted by visas. The restriction entails that international students can only work in places which are seen as additional skill development and education for their degrees.

Despite the opportunities on campus, not all students get the desired 40 hours a week.

“My first summer, most people got 40 hours and I got 20. It was frustrating,” junior Bamzi Banchiri said. She said the lack of hours meant she had a lot of free time, but a lack of money to spend or save.

“More opportunities need to be created, as students are not getting the hours they need,” sophomore Tiago Dos Anjos said. Leite added, “If you get 40 hours, you can make $3,000. It helps a lot.”

Summer is long, but most students will be able to work some hours on campus, and for those who have lots of free time, Gehner resident counselor Doug Brown has lots in store. According to Banchiri, who has spent several vacations on campus with the Brown family, “Mr. B tries to engage people and bring people together” with activities like van rides, sports games in Crafton and house dinners.

Image courtesy of Julia Suber