With this academic year’s end slowly creeping up and a new year starting to develop, Bellevue College’s budget – and where it should be spent – is up for debate. During this discussion, Assistant Dean of Student Programs Faisal Jaswal advocated strongly for raising the minimum wage on campus to $13.
Currently, students can get paid as low as minimum wage on the Bellevue college campus but with the need for a new budget plan, there is talk of increasing this by two dollars an hour, or potentially four, for students who have jobs on campus.
This is an incredible idea. With students getting paid more money, there’s an endless amount of positives only slightly overshadowed by a few downsides to the system.
In the past, the convenience of working on campus has been overshadowed by limited hours and small pay. However, if the pay is raised, then students will be able to work on campus, which could be a major convenience for students who live farther away or take the bus. Only one round trip a day to get to and from work and school could save a lot of money in both gas and bus fares.
For the students who already work on the campus, being paid $15 an hour would allow them to quit their second jobs and dedicate more time to school and the single job they have. This makes not only the work environment less stressful but it also gives students more time to focus on their studies and homework for their classes.
The broke college student stereotype exists in America for a reason: College students are broke. This stereotype applies especially to the students at Bellevue College. Most of the students at Bellevue College go to the school because it is cheap and they can’t afford to go to another four-year college because those tend to be on the more expensive side. Bellevue College has free canned foods and other living necessities on a shelf in the C building because a lot of people can’t always afford it. Raising the wages of on-campus jobs by as much as two or four dollars an hour would have a significant impact on the students of Bellevue College. As a lot of students at Bellevue College are older than the average college student, it could go so far as to determine what they feed their children for dinner that night.
I realize that raising the minimum wage on the campus will obviously have its cons. Raising the minimum wage for students could make it harder to get a job on campus as there will be less jobs available but already so many on campus jobs aren’t taken advantage of. If a student really wants to get a job on campus, they aren’t very hard to find and there is a wide variety of options to choose from.
Another argument against raising pay is that the money must come from somewhere. If students get paid more then what does the school lose out on? This is a fair argument, the money could be used elsewhere. However, there are lots of groups and clubs on campus who receive way more money than they need and when those groups have extra money they spend it on coffee makers and silverware and other miscellaneous items that are not necessary to the function of the group. The money would be better spent somewhere else, like on the students who work hard enough to deserve it.
Bellevue College students are hardworking and dedicated. We have people from all walks of life in all stages of life, trying to do one thing: Better themselves and make their lives just a little happier. These are hard-working, honest and good people. They deserve to be treated as such. At the McDonalds less than five minutes away from BC, the entry-level pay is over $13. People who serve fast food for a living should not get paid more than the hard-working students helping their peers do everything from planning out the classes they need to take in order to get their degrees on time to delivering relevant news in the school newspaper.