Summer jobs subsidized by SU

By Morgan Haigler

Finding career-related summer employment is no easy task for students, especially when they need a job that pays well and is close to home.

Thankfully, full-time students will be offered subsidized summer jobs that directly relate to their degree programs and future career aspirations through the University of Calgary’s Students’ Union Student Work Experience Enrichment Program.

“What is different about it is we’re actually subsidizing [students’] wages,” said Students’ Union President Dalmy Baez. “We don’t normally get involved in any kind of employment, but we are encouraging students to pursue their academic concentrations.”

According to Baez, nearly $500,000 will be available in the new wage subsidy program. Funding will come from the SU’s Quality Money initiative, which has invested more than $6.5 million in student-led projects since 2004.

“I think one of the real hallmarks of the quality money is that the Students’ Union and Graduate Students’ Association each get a pool of money that they can determine what they want to do with it,” said vice-provost for students Ann Tierney. “They determine the priorities and they run programs to help other students on campus.”

The SU asks that applicants for the wage subsidy be current full-time undergraduate students who are taking a minimum of three courses during the 2009 fall session.

Dalmy Baez said students must also work 30 to 40 hours a week for 12 to 16 weeks at a time. Additionally, they can only receive up to $15 an hour since the position must meet the Alberta minimum hourly wage requirements. Qualified students will receive regular wages from an employer and a top up subsidy through SWEEP.

“We find that a lot of students end up working in a service industry or a few that are not exactly in their field of study,” said Baez. “We feel that students working in degree-related summer jobs will be able to pursue such stuff without having to worry about not making enough money to pay for schooling come September.”

Application submissions started on Feb. 17 and will continue until Sept. 30, 2009.

Those who are eligible for the program will be contacted by e-mail or phone three to five business days after the application has been received.

“It can certainly help students who might have before not been able to take something that’s career related because they needed something [with] a higher wage, that maybe was not so helpful to them in their long-term future career aspirations,” said Tierney.

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