Student workers benefit from minimum wage hike


“It’s a great place to work in,” said Levi Yakuber, a senior who has been employed by the Center for Student Success for “the last four or five semesters.” Most students who work for the Center for Student Success as Peer Support Staff are paid minimum wage, which has been $9.65 since 2020. This January, Michigan increased minimum wage to $9.87. 

The increase didn’t have much of an effect on Yakuber, who said that “working at the Center for Student Success is “much more about the … skills I’m gaining from tutoring.” 

“If I wanted to just make money there’d be a lot better options for doing that,” Yakuber said. 

On-campus, those options include jobs like Dining Services, which fall into higher pay tiers. Melissa Smith, director of board operations for Calvin Dining Services told Chimes that Dining Services adjusted wages in Fall 2020 to “increase participation and retain student employees.” Currently, students working for Dining Services start at an hourly wage of $11, which increases by 50 cents after 30 days, and an additional 20 cents each semester the student returns. Smith said this shift has “greatly helped our retention of student employees.” 

Because dining service workers’ starting wage is above Michigan’s minimum wage, they will not see a wage increase. However, students who work with the Center for Student Success and other minimum wage jobs on campus will benefit from Michigan’s new wage law.