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Policy change to allow Ohio State student employees to work through the summer post-graduation

A revision to the Ohio State Office of Human Resources’ employment policy could give graduating seniors a little more time to earn money while searching for a post-grad job.

This year the policy allows student employees who graduate at the end of Spring Semester to continue working in their positions through Aug. 6, the last day of exams for Summer Semester. Previously, that cut-off date was the last day of the month-long May Session, which would have been May 30 this year.

According to the Office of Human Resources’ student employment policy, a student employee is defined as “an individual who is enrolled at the university on a full-time or part-time basis, appointed to a position designated as student employment and associated with the university primarily in the pursuit of an academic degree.”

The policy states students can work for one “off” academic term when they are not enrolled in each academic year. For many graduating students, that means summer. However, after the switch from quarters to semesters before the 2012-13 academic year and the creation of the Maymester term, graduates were only permitted to work through the duration of Maymester, Kerry Francis, a spokeswoman for the Office of Human Resources, said.

Francis said that was a problem.

“It was an issue that was noticed during the first summer after the transition. Departments all over campus were letting us know they needed more employees during the summer term,” Francis said.

The policy, revised Feb. 1, states “student employees who graduate Spring Semester may retain their student employee status until the last day of final examinations for the Summer Term.”

“(The policy change) was a collective agreement, and it ensures we (the university) can meet our business needs,” Francis said.

The terms of employment also say student employees can work up to 28 hours per week during terms in which they are enrolled and 38 hours per week during their “off” academic term and official school breaks.

The extra days afforded by the policy change, though, are not guaranteed for everyone.

“The change applies to all student employees, but it’s always up to the discretion of the employer as far as who stays on and how many hours the employee works,” Francis said.

Dulith Hewa, a fourth-year in industrial engineering who is set to graduate in May and who works as a student manager at Union Market in the Ohio Union, said the policy change was a good idea.

“It’s a good idea, because I think that most people don’t get a job right after they graduate,” Hewa said. He is currently trying to get a job after he graduates, but he said the extra couple of months could be a big help for any student employee graduates still searching for a job.

Muhyadin Artan, a fifth-year in civil engineering who is set to graduate in May, said it’s nice to have the option of summer hours when looking at the future.

“It would help pay my bills obviously. If I’m not working a civil engineering job, I need to make some money. I may look into taking a few more credit hours or getting an internship,” Artan said.

Artan worked in student security at William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library for a year and has spent the last two years as an assistant at the 18th Avenue Library.

Francis said the policy change has the potential to help both employers and employees.

“This was a great way to take care of the needs of the university, but also help our students transition to the real world,” she said.

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