by Catherine Arjet
If you’re employed on campus, as many (if not most) Millsaps students are, you probably got an email over the summer or at the beginning of the semester about the new hiring process. For those of you who missed it (or still don’t understand it) basically what’s going on is that student jobs must now be posted on College Central Network (CCN), instead of being dealt with exclusively by the department providing the job. This ensures that the business office knows who is working for whom, for how much time and for what rate of pay. For a more in depth look at this process, check out our coverage of the shift. While I’m sure this new process does help the administrative offices, I have two qualms about it.
My first issue with the new hiring processes is kind of superficial; it wastes everyone’s time and CCN is not the most effective way to do all of this. Almost everyone I’ve talked to has encountered some sort of problem with CCN, ranging from not being able to find their job’s posting, despite having the number, to the PDF with the application simply refusing to save. Because none of the job links on CCN went live until after the term started, many students had to wait to work until the system decided they were allowed. If we had been able to do this over the summer, students could have started working as soon as the term began (as returning student workers usually do), and the departments, offices and programs that employ them could have had the help from student workers they depend on from day one.
However, most of this problem will probably be solved as the business office continues to work out the kinks in the system over the next few semesters. My main issue is the control this system gives the business office over student employment. Because of this new system, the business office gets the
final say on student hires. While, nine times out of ten, this might be fine, it does present a problem in certain areas. For example, the business office already holds the checks of students who have not yet paid tuition, under this new system, the office could hypothetically deny jobs to those students.
It also raises a problem with censorship, specifically that of student publications. Of course, we at The Purple and White might be more concerned about that than the average student, but it does constitute a large free speech issue. The publications board has to ask the business office for money based on a specific budget and specific positions. The biggest problem comes though with the business office’s having the final say over any new staff on student publicans.
Until this semester what had been happening is that a student would apply for a position and the editor of the publican (or the publications board if the student applied to be an editor) would decided whether or not to hire him/her and then pay student out of the publican’s budget. Ideally what will happen now is that the publicans board will post a job on CCN, a student will apply, the publican will decided whether or not to hire them, and the business office will file the paper work. However, having that power there could lead to censorship. If, say, a student submits a piece to the Stylus that the administration finds objectionable and then, the next semester, applies for the position of Stylus editor, instead of the publications board simply hiring the student (assuming he/she was the best candidate), the business office would be able to prolong or even stop the hiring process. While I am not predicting that this will happen, and I truly hope that it will not, there is a potential that for this to happen and even that possibility threatens the ability of publications to print what they want without fearing retribution. If we want free speech to continue unabated on campus, we can not have an administrative office in charge of these who gets to say what on campus