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Michigan State University Asks Faculty and Staff to Volunteer to Help Out in Understaffed Dining Hall

Michigan State University Asks Faculty and Staff to Volunteer to Help Out in Understaffed Dining Hall

“As you know, like other schools and universities across the country, Culinary Services is experiencing severe staffing shortages”

As you can imagine, not everyone on the faculty is happy about the idea of slinging hash in the dining hall. But hey, we’re all in this together, right?

The Detroit Free Press reports:

MSU asks faculty, staff to volunteer in dining halls

Short thousands of student workers in campus dining halls, Michigan State University is asking faculty and staff for help.

In an email sent to MSU deans, directors and chairs on Monday, Vennie Gore, senior vice president for residential and hospitality services and auxiliary enterprises, invited faculty and staff to volunteer without extra pay in the dining halls.

“As you know, like other schools and universities across the country, Culinary Services is experiencing severe staffing shortages,” Gore wrote. “Many businesses in the local area and around the country are hiring, and we are all competing for the same available talent.”

To mitigate the shortage, Residential and Hospitality Services has already asked 132 full-time department employees to work eight hours a week in the dining halls.

However, Gore continued, “our residential dining halls could use your help to continue serving our campus community. Faculty and staff from around campus are invited to sign up to assist in the dining halls! We have specific needs during evenings and weekends. I ask that you share this message with your departments and units.”

Gore enclosed a survey containing a volunteer acknowledgment form, a link to a criminal background check and instructions on how to prepare for the first shift.

Devin Silvia, director of undergraduate studies in MSU’s computational math department, works with students every day and is aware of their frustrations with the dining halls. He was nonetheless shocked when he was asked to volunteer at them.

Silvia called it “astounding” for MSU to ask faculty and staff — some of whom are already pushed to the limit by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said — to work in the dining halls.

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Comments

Dining halls today, sugar cane fields tomorrow.
Get cracking, Marxists — manpower in the kitchens is also looking soft.

They have a reportedly shrinking student body and a shortage of students willing to work in the dining facilities. Now they’re asking staff and faculty to volunteer for KP duty on top of the work they’re getting paid for?

How long do you think it will be until staff, faculty, and students are no longer asked to “volunteer” but are assigned KP shifts in the Communal Dining Facilities?

Welcome to the Socialist Utopia, right?

Of course, the workers won’t be allowed to let their normal duties go. Next thing they know, they’ll be told to make bricks without straw.
.

The financial aid packages of most colleges contain a “work study” component. The wages paid are 75% federal and 25% matching funds from the local institution. The availability of work study for the cafeteria workers does not depend on how the cafeteria is managed. So, that if the cafeteria was outsourced to Aramark or SYSCO, there can still be work study funding for the cafeteria workers.

If there are COVID concerns about how the cafeteria is staffed, those concerns would apply equally to the paid staff and volunteer staff.

In sum, this may be more a case of mismanagement than the local job market.

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