Continuing a Separation Between Work Jobs and After-School Activities

Max Jiao '24, Staff Writer

An integral part of Loomis Chaffee is the work job program: a chunk of time out of students’ busy schedules dedicated to giving back to the school in some way, whether that be cleaning, tutoring, working as an environmental proctor, or carrying out administrative tasks.  One flaw in the program is that certain tasks take up too much time out of a student’s day, where it may be more beneficial for that work job to function as an after-school activity as well. While this concern is valid, making this switch will ultimately not be a good idea. There currently does not exist a work job that offers enough for students to do during a two-hour time frame every day, compared to an afternoon activity. Additionally, student leadership positions in work jobs are difficult to restrict to a defined period of time each day. If these leadership positions double-serve as an after school activity, it would defeat the purpose of having that role in the first place.

The only work jobs that could potentially serve as after-school activities are those that require a significant time commitment. For example, Environmental Proctors, or E-Proctors who work at Loomis’ apiary or maple sugar shack, can spend up to 3 hours or more on a given task, while  other work jobs, such as Tour Guide, Quantitative Resource Center/Writing Studio tutor, or Dining Hall cleanup, takes up only about an hour.

Some students believe that jobs such as E-Proctor promote a collaborative nature similar to that of team camaraderie. However, restricting these work jobs to a much more rigid, daily schedule will be ineffective. 

“I would not be able to fill the afternoons with enough E-Proctor work due to the oscillating nature of the position — sometimes we have to wait for materials to be ordered or for faculty input before continuing with a project,” Sandro Mocciolo ’23, one of the head E-Proctors, said.

Having these leadership roles and work jobs as afternoon activities seems to be an easy way to shirk responsibility and spend time on only one job that serves two — as a work job and as an after-school activity. 

“I think the point of a leadership position is that it’s an extra responsibility,” said Mocciolo. Part of that extra responsibility is learning to manage that time between that position and a school-designated activity.

So there really doesn’t seem to be any reason for a single work job, leadership position or not, to serve as more than just that. Too much variation exists within the role to merit making it an after-school activity, and it ultimately defeats the whole purpose overall. Some work jobs do not have a defined schedule — rather, they meet on a need-basis. So, converting these work jobs to after school programs would result in not enough work for students to do.

Even if a proposal like this were passed, it likely would not make a difference. The majority of the school already has their own activities — like sports, academic-oriented clubs, community service programs, and so on — to attend. The more likely aftermath is that work jobs tied to leadership positions, such as head E-Proctor, International Student Ambassador, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Intern, will lack precedence over these other activities, effectively rendering the policy counterproductive.