Fries with that exam? College profs asked to help with food


A sign outside a dining hall at Michigan State University on Sept. 30, 2021. Dining halls at the school have been affected by a lack of workers. The school is asking professors and others to volunteer to work a few hours. (Nick King/Lansing State Journal via AP)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hey, professor, hold the mayo!

Short of help, Michigan State University is making an urgent plea to staff to volunteer in campus dining halls, including faculty.

MSU’s residential services department has already asked 132 full-time employees to work eight hours a week, the Lansing State Journal reported, but it’s apparently not enough.

“Faculty and staff from around campus are invited to sign up to assist in the dining halls! We have specific needs during evenings and weekends,” Vennie Gore, a senior vice president, said in an email to deans.

Gore provided a link to a criminal background check and tips on how to prepare for the first shift.

Devin Silvia, director of undergraduate studies in MSU’s computational math department, said the request was “astounding.”

“I am all about supporting the MSU student community and making sure they have a positive experience,” said Silvia, who was paid at least $100,000 in 2020-21. “But at the end of the day, I’m doing that in my own career and questioning whether I’m being sufficiently compensated.”

About 4,000 students typically work in dining halls, but only 1,200 were employed at the end of September, the State Journal reported.

Starting pay was recently raised from $12 to $15 an hour. Gore said MSU is competing with local businesses for workers.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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