Undercover Mother


By J.A. Summa 

It’s all about the juggling.

It’s only been a couple of weeks of class and in order to get everything done daily I hold the mental image of juggling glass balls – if I slow down or relax at all I’ll drop one and it will shatter.

It might sound awful, but it works. I’ve been back a year and have yet to fall off the deans list. I’ll be damned if I start now.

“Supermom” seems a fitting title some days for me and my nontraditional fellows. We juggle classes, family and financial burdens that some of our traditional age classmates don’t have to deal with yet.

Behold our ‘arch enemy,’ the devious TUA — The Unforgiving Administration.

The TUA reared its ugly head over the summer when the new student employment rules came online – and rumors floated through the halls that one or more of the ‘powers-that-be” that regulate student employment actually said that students should make minimum wage only.

The new rules say that students, nontraditional or traditional, can work no more than 20 hours per week on campus, can only work at two positions because it would be too tough to make sure the 20 hour rule is followed, and can only make a maximum of $8 per hour. (Most students will make much
less, depending on the department and the job.)

Minimum wage only eh…I really, really wanted to verbally beat whoever said that…

Just about a fourth of the student body at Western are nontraditional students, several are back at school full time and have to work to supplement their spouse’s salary. It’s not much. In essence we are one income families – as our part time paychecks go to cover gas and not much else.

In my case, because my husband works a rotating schedule and we don’t have consistent evening childcare — I’m stuck working on campus. I have no other choice. However, I wish the TUA would allow me to make my own decision about how many hours I can work.

It seemed as if it views tuition paying students as parasites, leeching extra money from the university coffers for performing food service or clerical jobs. So even though our tuition went up, our ability to get a larger paycheck went down.

Here’s a call to arms from Supermom…

Students! If you have the time, look off campus for work.

Leave the offices on campus that depends on student workers for their menial tasks, empty.

A symbiotic relationship is what should be happening between the student body and the TUA.

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