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Guidelines for the Use of Student Workers in Academic Offices

Student workers serve a valuable role in offices throughout the College and we rely on them a great deal for the smooth functioning of everyday chores and responsibilities. However, it is important to recognize that there are limitations that should be imposed regarding their involvement in, and access to, confidential departmental matters and personnel files. It is the responsibility of department chairs, faculty and administrators to handle confidential materials with care and protect the privacy of those involved.

Below are guidelines to keep in mind when assigning work to student employees:

Student should never be asked to do the following tasks:

  • Filing in personnel folders
  • Handling (duplication, filing, organizing) of confidential materials in tenure, review or promotion dossiers - such as chair and/or candidate statements, reference letters, course evaluations, teaching evaluations, etc. - that are used to assess performance.
  • Summarizing or transcribing comments in course evaluation forms for use in tenure, review or promotion dossiers.
  • Work with other student's confidential materials - papers, tests, grades, transcripts, etc. - or have access to files with this information.

Please also be sensitive to computer issues and ensure that students are not able to access confidential electronic files or emails. Be mindful that even if you don't have confidential information in your folder, someone in your shared drive might.

There are a great many appropriate tasks and they include, but are not limited to: duplication of course materials, mail distribution, postering, errands, front desk reception, answering phones and assistance at events.