Essential Labor

Many labor departments depend upon their students to maintain minimal function. While departments are encouraged to release students from their duties for participation in college-wide events (Mountain Day, Martin Luther King Day, Exploring Labor, Service, and Learning Day), those with essential labor are not required to dismiss students altogether. Most departments can manage this situation through careful planning and distribution of student labor so that everyone can participate in some aspect of the event.

Students should not be scheduled to provide “coverage” so that staff can attend such events in their place. In rare cases, academic requirements are scheduled outside of normal class hours (e.g., General Education Writing Proficiency Exam for first-year students). Students are required to attend the half day College-Wide Symposium; therefore, labor departments should not schedule students to work during this time frame. In these cases, supervisors must adapt their schedules to provide for release. Course study sessions or extra credit assignments are not considered requirements for the purpose of labor dismissal, though supervisors are encouraged to be responsive to such requests whenever practical.

Essential labor may be defined as student labor that supports any college business or service that is open to the public (e.g., Boone Tavern, Bookstore, Log House Gift Shop, Seabury Center, Child Development Lab) or any area responsible for the health and welfare of the campus community and property (e.g., Food Service, Public Safety, College Farms, Facilities Management). Students assigned to areas defined as essential labor will operate on the same schedule as regular staff when weather related issues arise. If labor is dismissed, there will be an announcement campus wide.