In recent years, Shippensburg University has been making commendable changes on campus to assist students in dining options and better eating habits.
The $22 million and 18-month renovation to Reisner Dining Hall and the transformation of the Ceddia Union Building are examples of a few current dining projects. Besides these new renovations, SU, along with its food service provider Chartwells, has been encouraging employment opportunities to both students and local residents in creditable numbers.
According to Nick Iula, director of Campus Dining Services, SU dining services employs at least 110 full-time staff members throughout the school year from August to May.
SU dining services hires approximately 400 students each calendar year. However, due to students’ hectic lives, only 150 are actually employed yearly. All student staff members are considered part-time.
The negative aspect of this employment includes lay-offs in the summer. During this time, kitchen staff drops to about 40 full-time workers, 20 students and 18 managerial or supervisory employees. According to Iula, staffing for the summer is determined by needs of operation. The entire staff is represented by a union, and summer work is based primarily on seniority.
Most of the associates with lower seniority tend to be the ones who accept work.
“Perhaps one of the best benefits recognized by our associates is the opportunity to take the summers off and spend time with their families.” Iula said. “Many of our associates with higher seniority voluntarily decide to take the summers off.”
These associates claim unemployment during the summer months and still get paid.
“About 50 percent of our staff has six years or more tenure. In our industry, those are admirable statistics,” Iula said.
Other opportunities for these employees to work during summer include serving at multiple occasions at Reisner Dining Hall.
Between semesters the university hosts almost 30 sport and liberal arts camps, as well as high-profile conferences. Workers laid off may be called in for these occasions, as well as for SU Alumni Weekend events in June.