Student Employment Handbook
As student employees of Bennington College, you will be working with full, and part-time, staff in your respective departments. This is a valuable opportunity to contribute to the growth and maintenance of the Bennington community while developing key career readiness skills during the academic year. You are, of course, students first and employees second; it will be your responsibility to balance these roles and conduct yourself professionally within the working environment. Below are some general expectations of student employees; your supervisor will have more specific expectations with respect to your position and site.
The Student Employment Specialist in the Career Development and Field Work Term Office oversees student employment. Anyone with questions or suggestions is encouraged to contact the Specialist directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiring and Candidate Selection
All on-campus jobs for returning students with work allotments in their financial aid package are posted and may be applied for via Handshake, Bennington’s job search platform. All applications on Handshake will require a resume, and some may also request a cover letter, schedule of availability, additional documentation, or interviews as part of the candidate selection process. Additionally, supervisors may perform internal College reference checks on student applicants, consulting academic, disciplinary, and performance records at their discretion. Supervisors are also permitted to request information from the Student Employment Specialist about whether applicants simultaneously hold other campus jobs.
First Years and New Transfer Students
Students who are new to Bennington College, have a work allotment in their financial aid package, and plan to study on-campus will be contacted by the Student Employment Specialist over the break prior to their first term at Bennington. If you are interested in working and eligible for employment (see below), the Specialist will assign an entry-level job.
Eligibility for Employment
Suitability for employment is determined through academic records for the immediate prior term, adherence to the expectations outlined in this handbook, and employment performance evaluations. Your employment may be terminated at any time during your work assignment for failure to adhere to the terms and conditions of student employment.
Off-Term Eligibility for Employment
Federal Work-Study awards are not available during off-term time (summer and winter break/Field Work Term), but some student jobs on campus may still exist depending on various departments’ needs for the period. Students can find these listings on Handshake in the on-campus job listings section; they will be prefaced with either “Summer” or “Winter” to mark their difference from term-time positions. In order to be eligible to work on campus during off-term time, you must plan to be enrolled during the next academic term, and must have been enrolled during the preceding academic term. For example, you could not work during the summer after coming back from a leave of absence or study away period if you would not resume taking Bennington College classes until the following Fall. Additionally, you are ineligible for off-term campus employment if:
- You are on Academic Warning or Probation,
- You were on Academic Warning or Probation during the term immediately preceding the desired summer or winter employment, or
- You have a record of significant disciplinary concerns, as determined by the Office of Student Life.
Remote Students with Work Allotments
For students with allotments, student employment is an eligibility based on financial need and must be earned. Because students are not required to accept their work eligibility, these funds are not applied to tuition and fees but will be paid to the student on a biweekly basis in accordance with the number of hours worked. Earnings from student employment are theirs to spend on supplies and personal expenses. If a student does not earn the full amount indicated by their financial aid package, it will not be replaced by other forms of aid. Students and families should contact financial aid with questions about their individual packages.
Reporting Hours and Getting Paid
Being Added to Payroll
Before your first day of work and in order to be added to the payroll, students must complete the following federal forms and upload this paperwork via the Eligibility to Work Form. Students may contact email@example.com with questions about this process. International students with questions should contact Rage Hezekiah, Associate Director of Academic and International Student Services, who is the Designated School Official for international students.
Students who have worked on campus in the past do not need to file these forms every year. They only need to re-file the W-4 form if they previously filed “exempt,” or if their tax status has changed significantly in some other way.
Form W-4. This is a federal tax-withholding form and all students who are working must have one on file. Essentially, this is how you tell the government how much should be withheld from each paycheck for tax purposes. The College cannot tell you how to complete this, so if you can, complete it before arriving with help from family or an accountant/tax advisor.
Form W-4VT. This is a state tax-withholding form and needs to be completed in addition to the federal W-4.
Form I-9. This is an employment-eligibility form that is generally required by the government for everyone who is employed in the U.S. Identification required for eligibility is listed on page 3 of this form.
Pay Statements, Direct Deposit, and Annual W-2s
Successful processing of your I-9 and W-4s will allow you to submit your timesheets online and collect wages. You can record your hours throughout the week and save the form each time, but note that timesheets will not be processed for payment until you submit them. See list of timesheet due dates and pay dates.
All student employees of the College can view their pay statements, make direct deposit elections, changes, and view their annual W-2 tax statements through the ADP interface. When you first become employed by the College, registration instructions for ADP will be emailed to you. Please review the instructions. With any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filling Out Timesheets
Students are responsible for digitally submitting timesheets on a biweekly basis. Please review the schedule for timesheets and payroll; late timesheet submissions will be paid on the next payroll date. Students must report the hours they have actually completed and not the hours for which they were scheduled. If you leave early or arrive late for a shift (or vice versa), your hours must be adjusted accordingly. Failure to adjust hours for accuracy may result in disciplinary action, or in a delay in your timesheets being approved while corrections are made.
For students with positions that use punched timecards, supervisors may use the timecards as the authoritative version of your hours and may adjust the hours you submit online accordingly. However, you must still submit hours online in TimesheetX as the system will not allow your supervisor to do this for you. If you are concerned that your timecards for a given week may be incomplete or inaccurate, contact your supervisor so that they are aware before it is time for your hours to be approved.
For problems with the timesheet pages, please email email@example.com. This email address is not monitored over weekends, so you will most likely receive an answer on the next business day.
During the Fall or Spring academic terms, students may work up to two full jobs, for a total of 16 hours per week. If needed to make up for work shift coverage, students are permitted to flex hours in a given week up to 20 hours per week, which is the cap set in TimesheetX—but the ongoing weekly student cap is 16 hours. Students with good academic standing are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week. During winter and summer academic breaks, including Field Work Term, students can work a maximum of 40 hours per week.
If your supervisor requests work from you outside of your regular shifts, please make sure you mutually understand how much time it was and that this is also recorded on your timesheets. Please be aware that by federal regulation, students cannot work during hours when their schedule dictates they should be in class, even if you are not attending that day. If you work during a time when you would normally be in class, please provide firstname.lastname@example.org with written proof that class was canceled to be given an exception and allowed to enter those hours.
Students are expected to perform their position responsibilities in an effective, efficient, and cooperative manner at all times. Failure to perform their responsibilities as expected may jeopardize eligibility for future student employment. Remember the Student Employment team is here to help you remove any barriers to bringing your best self to the workplace; please reach out to us before any performance issues become a disciplinary issue.
Punctuality and Communication
Punctual and regular attendance is an essential responsibility of eeach employee. Employees are expected to report to their work shifts as scheduled, on time, and ready to begin work. Supervisors understand that things may arise that conflict with students’ work schedules. Students are expected to communicate with their supervisors regarding any absences or tardiness in advance. Some departments may request that students find coverage for a shift from fellow student workers. Failure to communicate schedule conflicts or regularly missing shifts may result in disciplinary action.
Employees are expected to remain at work for their entire shift. Late arrival, early departure, or unexcused absences from scheduled hours are disruptive to fellow team members and must be avoided. If you have any questions or concerns about your scheduled hours, please be sure to discuss these with your supervisor so appropriate arrangements can take place.
Student employees shall not report to, or remain at, work if sick or symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. No symptomatic or COVID-19-positive employee should report to the workplace, and any employee who has had contact with a worker or any other person diagnosed with COVID-19 is required to follow protocol.
Student employees may at times have access to sensitive and/or confidential information. Students are expected to be professional and respectful of the trust that is bestowed upon them. Intentional breaches in confidentiality are grounds for immediate termination of employment.
Student workers may use their personal computing devices for their Bennington College work assignments as needed; however, all work and data resulting from a students’ Bennington job remain the exclusive property of Bennington College. Upon completion or termination of the student’s work assignment, all work and data resulting from employment at the College must be transferred to the student’s hiring manager and must be securely deleted from the student’s personal devices.
Students work alongside staff in a professional working environment and are expected to be respectful of their colleagues’ time and mindful of their conduct within these spaces. Students may dress comfortably and casually so long as clothes are clean and presentable. Students will interact with other college employees and students in a variety of capacities and are expected to maintain courteous and productive conversation. If students feel at any point that they are unprepared to appropriately deal with a conflict, politely and respectfully default to a supervisor.
Students are not expected to know everything on their first day on the job. As an institute of higher education, we are committed to continuous cooperative learning. When confused, ask for assistance. Students should feel comfortable asking for guidance on how to complete tasks as well as understanding broader goals. In that same vein, student insight is a valuable resource for the advancement of the College; students are encouraged to offer feedback and ideas in an appropriate and respectful manner when asked.
If students wish to resign from a work assignment, they may do so by giving written notice (via email, cc’ing email@example.com) to their supervisors one week in advance. This notice period allows the supervisor time to secure a replacement. Failure to provide adequate notice may jeopardize eligibility for future student employment.
Safety and Respect
Some jobs on campus may involve the use of space, equipment, or processes that require specialized training in order to be carried out safely. Supervisors have a responsibility to train students before making them responsible for using such space, equipment, and processes. In the same vein, student workers have a responsibility to be attentive to safety advisories, ask questions and seek help when needed, and exercise their best judgment in carrying out their responsibilities.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Bennington College embraces diversity of race, color, age, sex, religion, ability, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, and all other legally protected statuses. All employees are expected to be respectful toward all other individuals they may interact within the workplace. Discriminatory or exclusionary languages or behaviors will not be tolerated under any circumstances, and should be reported to the Student Employment Specialist immediately. Please review the College’s nondiscrimination policy for more information.
In tandem with the nondiscrimination statement, students, faculty, and staff deserve to be addressed in the manner that they prefer. Please inform your supervisor and co-workers of your preferred name and pronouns and make an effort to respect the names and pronouns of your co-workers.
Sexual Harassment and Misconduct
All forms of sexual misconduct offenses and other non-consensual sexual contacts by members of the Bennington community will not be tolerated by the College and could be a violation of College policy, and/or state and federal law. Please review Bennington’s policy on sexual harassment and misconduct to learn more about Title IX policies and procedures.
Substance Abuse Policy
Bennington College is committed to providing a substance-free workplace. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, all employees, including student employees, are advised that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol is prohibited in the workplace. Student employees found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action and termination of employment under the discretion of their supervisor.
In situations where disciplinary action is necessary, supervisors will follow a standard progressive discipline pathway for repeated issues:
- You will receive a verbal warning and have the opportunity to discuss the issue with your supervisor.
- You will receive a written warning indicating the next stage will be dismissal.
- You will receive a notice of termination.
Reasons for disciplinary action include, but are not limited to:
- Repeated tardiness/uncommunicated absences/failure to secure shift coverage according to the stated expectations of the position
- Unsatisfactory work or failure to carry out assigned tasks
- Unprofessional workplace conduct, including violations of the Workplace Expectations and Safety and Respect sections of this handbook
Circumstances that warrant immediate termination include:
- Breach of confidentiality
- Falsification of timesheets/personal records/other College records
- Failure to cooperate with supervisors or other employees
- Willful or deliberate negligent acts that disrupt the efficiency and safety of the workplace
- Theft or intentional destruction of financial resources or other equipment
- Discriminatory language or behavior
- Sexual misconduct
Termination of employment
Students who have been terminated must meet with the Student Employment Specialist to discuss work expectations moving forward and explore their options at that point. Upon returning to work, students will undergo a 30-day probationary period, during which time any additional infraction of the terms and conditions of student employment will be considered sufficient for termination.
If after returning to work, the student is terminated again, they will permanently lose their eligibility for campus employment. Students who find themselves in this situation may appeal in writing via email to the Student Employment Specialist. Each department may have its own additional set of terms and conditions of employment that will be reviewed with the student upon hiring.
At the end of each academic term, student employees’ supervisors will fill out performance evaluation forms for each student who worked for them during that term. Evaluations will be made available to students to read, by email, before the next term begins, and students can request copies of their own evaluations from any jobs worked in the past by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of Information
A student’s performance evaluations are considered private, and in most cases will only be shown to the student they are about, the student's faculty advisors, and to others who have written permission from the student. Supervisors at the College are able to request copies of a student’s past evaluations without express permission, as this permission is an automatic part of the application process for student jobs at Bennington. However, supervisors may only view a student’s past performance evaluations while evaluating that student’s application for a new on-campus job.
Appeal Policy for Student Performance Evaluations
If you receive a performance evaluation you would like to dispute, you can email the Student Employment Specialist to file an appeal. Appeals must be filed, in writing, within twenty business days of receiving the evaluation in dispute. Once they have received an appeal, the Specialist will consult with both you and the supervisor who wrote the evaluation before coming to a decision. Possible results of an appeal include the evaluation being retracted, in which case it will no longer be kept on file or available for anyone to reference, the evaluation being edited, or the evaluation remaining the same.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Specialist or have new information which you feel might affect the final decision, you may appeal the outcome to the Assistant Director of Employer Relations within twenty business days of the Specialist notifying you of the original decision. Contact information for both the Student Employment Specialist and the Assistant Director of Employer Relations is listed below.
Albert Aleksanyan '22
Student Employment Specialist
Accommodations and Support
Bennington College provides reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified employees with documented disabilities when such accommodations are requested and necessary to ensure equal access to work at the College. This is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 and similar state laws. A disability is a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a major life activity, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, working, or other activities, as defined by law.
All students with disabilities seeking campus work-related accommodations are encouraged to work with the Student Employment Specialist to request reasonable accommodations and discuss the various supports available. The disclosure of a disability and a request for accommodations is an individual choice and one that the College can encourage but not require. If you wish to apply for accommodations for documented disabilities, whether permanent or temporary, you must take the initiative in contacting the Student Employment Specialist and completing the Disability Accommodation Request Form. The Student Employment Specialist works with students, faculty, and staff to determine, provide, and arrange for reasonable accommodations, which are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.
Requests can be made at any time. However, in order for accommodations to be approved prior to the start of the term, completed forms and documentation must be submitted by June 1 for fall term and January 15 for the Spring term. Requests made after the deadlines or during the term will be reviewed and determined as quickly as possible.
Once accommodations have been approved, you will receive confirmation in writing and are responsible for communicating with your supervisors about approved accommodations, and working with them to make arrangements for accommodations where it is necessary to do so. You are also responsible for communicating with your supervisors and the Student Employment Specialist about the effectiveness and delivery of the approved accommodations.
Requests for accommodation must be as specific as possible and must be accompanied by a completed Disability Accommodation Request Form and any equivalent report(s) (e.g. a copy of a psychoeducational evaluation) you wish to provide. Completed forms and supporting documentation should be forwarded or provided to the Student Employment Specialist at email@example.com. The Specialist is also available by phone at (802) 440-4402, should there be any questions about providing sufficient documentation.
If you think you have been denied equal access to work on campus because of a disability, you may file a detailed written grievance with the Student Employment Specialist as soon as possible after the alleged discrimination occurred, but in no event more than 60 days thereafter. The College encourages students to first speak with a supervisor or the Specialist in order to resolve their complaints informally. If informal steps do not satisfactorily address your complaints or there is a complaint about the Specialist, you may file the written grievance described above to the Assistant Director of Employer Relations.
Students who are not satisfied with the Assistant Director of Employer Relations decision may file an appeal by contacting the Director of Human Resources, Heather Faley. Appeals must be submitted in writing within seven business days of when the student received notice of the Assistant Directors' decision. The Director of Human Resources may affirm or modify previous decisions made and/or may send the matter back for reconsideration by the Assistant Director of Employer Relations. The Director of Human Resources will communicate a final decision to the student in writing.
Student employment supervisors play a critical role in the success of student employees, and their expectations can vary depending on the nature of the job and the institution. However, here are some general expectations that student employment supervisors may have:
Clear communication: Supervisors should communicate job expectations, responsibilities, and goals clearly to their student employees. They should also be approachable and available to answer questions and provide guidance when needed.
Training and development: Supervisors should provide adequate training and support to help student employees succeed in their roles. This may involve teaching new skills, providing feedback on performance, and identifying opportunities for professional development.
Reliability and professionalism: Supervisors should expect student employees to be reliable and professional in their work. This includes showing up on time, completing tasks to the best of their ability, and maintaining a positive attitude.
Accountability: Supervisors should hold student employees accountable for their work and performance. This may involve setting goals and expectations, providing feedback, and addressing performance issues in a timely and constructive manner.
Respect and inclusivity: Supervisors should foster a respectful and inclusive work environment that values diversity and promotes mutual respect. They should also be aware of any potential biases or barriers that may impact student employees and work to address them.
Overall, student employment supervisors should provide a supportive and engaging work environment that helps student employees develop valuable skills and succeed in their roles. By setting clear expectations and providing ongoing support and feedback, supervisors can help maximize the potential of their student employees.
Progressive Discipline Model
The progressive discipline model is a system used by supervisors to manage and address employee performance and behavior issues. This model consists of a series of steps, such as verbal and written warnings, before termination is considered as a last resort. This approach allows for employees to have the opportunity to improve their performance or behavior, and provides a clear and consistent process for supervisors to follow. For further details on how to implement a progressive discipline, please find attached a link to a form that includes information and guidelines on how to utilize this approach effectively.
Terminating a student worker is a serious matter that requires careful consideration and adherence to established guidelines. Here is a step-by-step guide for supervisors who need to terminate a student worker:
- Gather documentation: Before taking any action, gather all relevant documentation related to the student worker's performance or behavior that has led to the need for termination. This could include attendance records, performance evaluations, or any written complaints or incidents that have been recorded.
- Schedule a meeting: Schedule a meeting with the student worker to discuss the issues at hand. During the meeting, explain the reasons why disciplinary action is necessary, and give the student worker a chance to respond. Clearly explain that the meeting is part of the progressive discipline pathway, and what the potential consequences may be.
- Issue a verbal warning: If the behavior or performance issues are not serious, issue a verbal warning as the first step in the progressive discipline pathway. Clearly explain what the issues are, what the student worker needs to do to improve, and the consequences of not improving. Document the verbal warning, including the date, time, and what was discussed.
- Issue a written warning: If the behavior or performance issues continue after the verbal warning, issue a written warning that outlines the issues and what the student worker needs to do to improve. Clearly state that the next step will be termination if the issues are not addressed. Again, document the warning and give the student worker a copy.
- Termination: If the issues continue after the written warning, terminate the student worker. Provide them with a notice of termination in writing, stating the reasons for termination, the effective date, and any final pay or benefits they may be entitled to. Make sure to follow any additional procedures or regulations related to termination in your organization or institution.
- Follow up: After the termination, follow up with any necessary paperwork or communication to ensure that the process is completed properly. Also, provide support and resources to other team members or colleagues who may be affected by the termination.
Remember, terminating a student worker is a last resort and should only be done after following the established progressive discipline pathway. It is important to approach these situations with empathy, respect, and fairness while also ensuring that the best interests of the organization or institution are taken into account.