International students face limitations for jobs on campus

Abena Tobin

Total number of employees on campus, 1,349, total number of student employees on campus, 555, total number of international student employees , 204, total number of female international student employees, 119, and total number of male international student employees, 85. Data provided by Dawn Fisher, Human Resource Director.

International students make up 10 percent of the school’s total enrollment and this number has grown by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2016, but only 36 percent of student employees are international students. The international student program is outgrowing the available jobs on campus, and due to immigration status restrictions, a majority of them cannot work off campus, according to Dawn Fisher, Human Resources Director.

Fisher said there are 1,349 people employed on campus and of that 1,349, there are 555 students. Of the 555 students, there are 204 international students.

Fisher said the statistics at human resources change quickly, however, there are employment opportunities on campus that are available for international students but majority are filled.

Randy Glean, director of international services, said, “Two hundred and four [students] is actually lower than what we expect, but the number of authorizations we have done was close to 300 international students.”

Glean said because of the vast expansion of the international student recruitment program it will and has become harder for students to find jobs on campus because campus jobs are limited.

“I feel restricted because of the limitations implemented in the system that hinders me getting a job whether it be on or off campus,” Martin Thomas, management information system freshman, said.

Thomas said to avoid the rush and battle for getting a job on campus as an international student, it’s sometimes based on the persons one is acquainted with.

“A lot of times for international students they can only work on campus because of their restrictions for off-campus jobs,” Fisher said.

She said because of their immigration status, international students can’t work off campus and because of the limitations she says that it may be difficult for that reason.

However, the job search for international students is not only hectic because of their restrictions but because the process after being hired can be difficult as well.

“The process to getting paid is difficult because, in my case, I am international and to get my social security number, I had to wait two months therefore I was without a job for two month,” Jomarie Leblanc, mechanical engineering senior, said. “After the two months, I had to look for a job all over again.”

Leblanc said the process is hard and the job search is hard.

However, some international students believe that certain jobs, for example, working at the facilities department as well as the custodian jobs, mostly cater to men, therefore they are then forced to search for jobs in the already over crowded departments.

Leblanc, one of the few that believes that certain jobs are suitable for males, said he doesn’t know about other departments, but rarely sees any international females in his department.

“As a female the jobs search may seem to be harder because we seek jobs where we are indoors rather than outdoors cutting the grass,” Edeesha Darwton, radiology senior, said.

Darwton said because she worked in the Wellness Center, she doesn’t want to feel that jobs on campus have specific target genders for international students, however, most women would not want to work in facilities or be a custodian, she said.

Glean said every semester there are more international females than males enrolled and females do tend to work in departments like that of the book store or the library, and then the few males that work there as well causes the crowding in the departments.

“Our international students are about 60:10 in ratio for females to males employed and it shows in the numbers enrolled as well,” Glean said.

However, Glean said gender is not an issue for the difficulty for international students finding jobs.

“It’s not that international students can’t find jobs, the jobs on campus are there but all of us are competing for the same jobs and only few available spots,” Shervonne Joseph, biology pre-med junior, said.

Joseph said competition for jobs among international students is most difficult because normally to get a job you would have to wait until some people graduate and spots free to possibly get a job.

Some of the international students are allowed to work off campus because they are United States born citizens or green card holders which allows the immigration status to work off campus, however, many students choose to continue to work on campus despite their ability to work out in the community.

“We ought to try to encourage the students who can work off campus to work off campus, so the jobs can be for those who are restricted to campus,” Glean said.

He said the difficultly can be curbed if there are international students that can help themselves to off campus jobs, rather than flocking to the on campus jobs.

“There are not enough jobs and the international program has out grown the jobs on campus, it is just a question of numbers to be honest,” Randy Glean, director, international services, said.