Student Employment Handbook

Welcome students! 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 learn about some of what goes into making your education possible here and to contribute to the growth and maintenance of the Bennington community. 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 is an outline of the general expectations of student employees; your supervisor will have more specific expectations with respect to your position.

The Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities in the Field Work Term and Career Development Office oversees student employment. Anyone with questions or suggestions is encouraged to contact the Coordinator directly at campusjobs@bennington.edu.

Hiring and Candidate Selection

All on-campus jobs for students, except incoming first-years and new transfer students with work allotments in their financial aid, are posted and may be applied for via the Handshake system. All applications on Handshake will ask you for a resume, and some may also request a cover letter, schedule of availability, other additional documentation, or interviews to determine finalists for positions. Supervisors may at their discretion perform internal College reference checks on student applicants, consulting academic and disciplinary records and performance evaluations from prior campus jobs. For budgeting purposes only, supervisors are also permitted to request information about applicants’ financial aid work allotments and whether applicants simultaneously hold other campus jobs.

First Years and New Transfer Students

Students who are new to Bennington College and have a work allotment in their financial aid will be contacted by the Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities over the term break prior to their first term at Bennington. If you are interested in working upon your arrival, the Coordinator will assign an entry-level job based on your skills, your interests, and what positions are available that term. New students may also apply for additional jobs on Handshake after you have arrived on campus for the term and received your Handshake accounts. By default, new students’ Handshake accounts cannot access campus jobs, students can change this by meeting with the Coordinator. All accounts will be unlocked to match returning students’ at the end of your first term at Bennington.

Eligibility for Employment

Only students currently enrolled at and attending Bennington College may hold student jobs. Students who are studying away may not work for the College remotely while doing so.

Suitability for employment is determined through academic records for the immediate prior term, adherence to the expectations outlined in this handbook, and performance evaluations. Eligibility for present and future student employment will be based on your employment performance history at Bennington College. Your employment may be terminated at any time during your work assignment for failure to adhere to the terms and conditions of student employment. If you are terminated from your position for any reason, you will not be eligible for new student employment for 60 days of term time; off-term time employment may also be affected. If after returning to work, you are terminated again, you will permanently lose your eligibility for campus employment. Students who find themselves in this situation may appeal in writing via email to the Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities. Each department may have their own additional set of terms and conditions of employment that will be reviewed with you upon hiring.

Off-Term Eligibility for Employment

Federal Work Study is not available during off-term time (summer and winter break/Field Work Term), but some regular-pay jobs on campus may still exist depending on various offices’ 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.

Reporting Hours and Getting Paid

Being Added to Payroll

Once hired, you’ll need to complete two federal forms and provide relevant ID (see forms below) before you can start work. Students can go to the Business Office (Barn 105) to process this paperwork. New students entering in the fall can also bring their paperwork to the Student Employment table at Orientation. International students who have additional questions can check in with Kate Child in Academic Advising; she is the Primary Designated Official for international students. Students who worked on campus last year only need to fill these forms out if they previously filed “exempt,” or if their tax status has changed significantly in some other way. Otherwise, these forms can stay on file for multiple years in a row.

Form W-4. This is a 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. Print the W-4 form, complete it as instructed, and bring the original to campus. The only part you have to complete is the bottom half of page 1 titled Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The last thing you do is sign and date that section. Remember to keep a copy for your own records. Complete this form in blue or black ink. Hand signature is required on this form.

Form I-9. This is an employment-eligibility form that is required by the government for everyone who is employed in the U.S. Although there are a lot of instructions for this form, it’s really pretty simple. Print the I-9 form and complete the first side of page one. The last thing you’ll do is sign and date that section. Everything else is up to the College. In order for the College to complete the form so you are eligible to work, you must bring original identification documents with you when you turn it in. We need to see the actual documents and cannot accept photocopies or faxes. There is a complete list of acceptable identification forms on page nine of the form.

Successful processing of your I-9 and W-4 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. If you are interested in direct deposit, you can specify it in ADP. Otherwise, your paychecks will be delivered to your campus mailbox.

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.

If you are a Federal Work Study (FWS) student, you should let your supervisor know approximately two weeks before you meet your term allotment ($1,150 per term for most students, viewable on your timesheet), and when you meet your term allotment, so that they can evaluate whether they’re able to re-approve you for regular pay.

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 as the system will not allow your supervisor to do this for you, and you cannot be paid until it happens. If you are concerned that your timecards for a given week may be incomplete, inaccurate, damaged, or unreadable, 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 helpdesk@bennington.edu. This email address is not monitored over weekends, so you will most likely receive an answer on the next business day.

Hours Requirements

The maximum number of hours that students can work in any single job or combination of jobs during fall and spring term is twenty hours per week. The maximum number of hours per week that students can work during winter or summer is 30-35.

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 your supervisor with written proof that class was cancelled.

Pay Statements, Direct Deposit, and Annual W-2s

As of Fall 2019, all student employees of the College can view their pay statements, make direct deposit elections, and view their annual W-2 tax statements through the ADP interface. At the beginning of the Fall 2019 term or 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 campusjobs@bennington.edu.

Work Expectations

Performance 

You are expected to perform your position responsibilities in an effective, efficient, and cooperative manner at all times. If you fail to perform your responsibilities as expected, you may jeopardize your eligibility for future student employment.

Punctuality and Communication 

Supervisors understand that you are students first and foremost and that things may arise that conflict with your work schedule. You are expected to communicate with your supervisors regarding any absences or tardiness in advance. Some departments may request that you find coverage for a shift from fellow student workers. Failure to communicate schedule conflicts or regularly missing shifts may result in disciplinary action. If you wish to resign from your work assignment, you may do so by giving one week’s notice to your supervisor. This notice period allows the supervisor time to secure your replacement. Failure to provide adequate notice may jeopardize your eligibility for future student employment.

Confidentiality 

As student employees, you may at times have access to sensitive/confidential information. You are expected to be professional and respectful of the trust that is bestowed upon you. 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.

Professionalism 

You are working along full- time staff in a professional working environment. Please be respectful of their time and mindful of your conduct within the workplace. 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 you feel at any point that you are unprepared to appropriately deal with a conflict, politely and respectfully default to a supervisor.

Learning 

You are not expected to know everything your first day on the job. As an institute of higher education our commitment is to continuous cooperative learning. When you are confused, ask for assistance. You 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 and students are encouraged to offer feedback and ideas in an appropriate and respectful manner when asked.

Safety and Respect

Workplace Safety 

Some jobs on campus may involve the use of space, equipment, or processes which 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, and 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 with in the workplace. Disrespectful/exclusionary language and/or behavior will not be tolerated. Please review the College’s nondiscrimination policy

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 name and pronouns and make an effort to respect the names and pronouns of your co-workers.

Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

If you have questions, please review Bennington’s policy on sexual harassment and misconduct

Discipline

In situations where disciplinary action is necessary, supervisors will follow a standard progressive discipline pathway for repeated issues:

  1. You will receive a verbal warning, and have the opportunity to discuss the issue with your supervisor.
  2. You will receive a written warning indicating the next stage will be dismissal.
  3. 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, and
  • 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, and
  • sexual misconduct.

Performance Evaluations

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 to campusjobs@bennington.edu.

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.

Grievance Policy for Student Performance Evaluations

If upon receiving a performance evaluation you would like to dispute what it says about your work during a particular term, you can email the Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities at campusjobs@bennington.edu and 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 Coordinator 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 Coordinator or have new information which you feel might affect the final decision, you may appeal the outcome to the Director of Field Work Term and Career Development within twenty business days of the Coordinator notifying you of the original decision. Contact information for both the Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities and the Director of Field Work Term and Career Development is listed below.

Ray Stevens
Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities
campusjobs@bennington.edu
(802)-440-4874

Faith McClellan
Director of Field Work Term and Career Development
fmcclellan@bennington.edu
(802)-440-4879

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 Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities 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 Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities and completing the Disability Accommodation Request Form. The Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities 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 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 Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities about the effectiveness and delivery of the approved accommodations.

Providing Documentation

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 Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities, Ray Stevens. The Coordinator is also available by phone at (802)-440-4874, should there be any questions about providing sufficient documentation.

Grievance Policy

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 Coordinator of Work Learning Opportunities 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 Coordinator in order to resolve their complaints informally. If informal steps do not satisfactorily address your complaints or there is a complaint about the Coordinator, you may file the written grievance described above to the Director of Field Work Term and Career Development, Faith McClellan. The Director of Field Work Term and Career Development will investigate the complaint and issue a finding, and is available by phone ((802)-440-4879) should any issues involving filing a grievance arise.

Appeals Process

Students who are not satisfied with the Director of Field Work Term and Career Development’s 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 Director of Field Work Term and Career Development’s decision. The Director of Human Resources may affirm or modify previous decisions made and/or may send the matter back for reconsideration by the Director of Field Work Term and Career Development. The Director of Human Resources will communicate a final decision to the student in writing.