Looking for non-traditional solutions

DKS Editors

March unemployment figures were announced this past weekend. The national unemployment rate is up to 8.5 percent, with experts expecting it to peak sometime later this year at 10 percent.

And last month alone, another 624,000 people lost jobs.

It is not a good time to be a student looking for work – unless, of course, you’re attending the College of Wooster.

This private college, located about an hour to our west, announced late last month an initiative to put more of their students to work. WooCorps student employees will have the opportunity to earn up to $3,400 over the course of 13 weeks, with two meals a day Monday through Friday and the possibility of up to a $1,000 scholarship.

The college is planning to hire about 125 students to work in a variety of positions this summer, giving its student body the chance to have a summer job that won’t evaporate half way through the season if business slows down or dries up.

And the college isn’t the only school being proactive to help students in these tough economic times. Universities across the nation are extending new services to students, and even the Kent State Trumbull Campus introduced a free-tuition program for people who’ve been laid off since Oct. 1, 2008.

At the same time the Obama administration is pushing programs left and right to stimulate the nation’s economy, universities are trying to stimulate the student economy by putting more of us to work.

But is there more universities could be doing?

The governor has asked for an extension of the statewide tuition freeze, which may help some of us save some money in the long run. And Kent State’s Career Services Center places about 5,000 students annually in on-campus jobs.

Clearly, there is no quick fix for the economic quagmire our country is in. Depending on who you listen to, the effects of the recession won’t begin to recede until anywhere from 2013 to 2015.

Our nation’s leaders have tried traditional means of fixing the economy – throwing good money after bad, dragging corporate leaders up to Capitol Hill to testify about what went wrong and seizing control of failing institutions.

Our new president is trying to shift the focus of federal funding from a defense-focused budget to one that is based in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.

This is no time for traditional solutions. Kudos to the College of Wooster for taking a nontraditional approach to helping its student body in these tough economic times. May other colleges and universities follow in their footsteps.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.