Student, management speak on Aramark employment

Alex Sandefur

According to the student employment enrollment requirements, student workers on campus are usually limited to working 20 hours a week at their job.

However, the Aramark Corporation does not limit the numbers of hours students workers can be at their jobs.

Gary Meszaros, vice president of Business and Auxiliary Services, said the reason Aramark can schedule its workers for more hours is because it is considered a third party, separate from WKU. It has its own accounting system that is not affiliated with the school.

“It would just be like getting a job somewhere off campus, like at Old Navy,” Meszaros said.

Steve Hoyng, resident district manager of Aramark, said most student employees work under 20 hours. Hoyng said it depends on the worker because individual managers of each restaurant on campus make the schedule .

“The managers really try to work with your schedule,” Hoyng said.

Diamond Darling, a sophomore from White House, Tennessee, recently quit her job at Fresh Food Company. She said she regularly worked over 20 hours per week.

“If you’re going to work in food, you can expect to work more than 20 hours,” Darling said. “It’s usually not more than 30 though.”

Darling started working at Fresh last year as a freshman. She worked in the bakery, which she said was severely understaffed.

“I worked a lot more than I wanted,” Darling said. “I usually worked 25 to 32 hours a week.”

Darling said she usually worked 21 hours on the weekend and another five-hour shift during the week, which did not leave her with a lot of other time to do the things she wanted to do.

Darling said one of the reasons she switched jobs is because she felt she missed out on a lot of opportunities. She now works at the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green.

Hoyng agreed the restaurants on campus are struggling to fill their positions and offered an explanation.

“The Bowling Green unemployment rate is at an all-time low. The restaurant industry likes a high unemployment rate because there are more workers to choose from,” Hoyng said.

Hoyng says there are benefits to working for Aramark on campus. One is a free meal for workers on the job. Another is not having to leave campus to work.

Hoyng also said Aramark pays more than the average student job on campus.

“Pay is based on experience and talent,” Hoyng said.

Darling said she liked and even missed her old job at Fresh.

“I didn’t mind my job,” Darling said. “I just didn’t want to stress about something that I shouldn’t be stressed about. I would rather have my time over the money.”