Campus Reform: Officials at the University of Kansas (KU) are capping student work hours to 20 hours a week because of provisions of the Affordable Care Act—commonly known as Obamacare—that require employers to provide health insurance for part-time employees.
Since the news was announced last week, many students are growing increasingly concerned because of the recent decrease in their hours (previously capped at 30 hours a week for undergraduates) and growing tuition. However, university officials feel the cutbacks are necessary in light of Obamacare’s policy changes.
Many students don’t feel that off-campus employment options can provide the necessary accommodations for their busy schedules that campus jobs do.
“If I have a test to study for I can let them [campus employers] know, and they can give me any time off that I need, but I know that would not be the case if I was working a service job,” senior Kristina Nielander told KSHB.
Last semester KU had 4,850 student employees but university officials claim only a handful worked more than 20 hours a week. Students like Rachel Prather argue that every hour counts and confessed her concerns about affording groceries on the recent cuts.
“I need any extra income I can get, and that means every hour of the day that I’m not in class I’m working and I value that a lot.”
The ACA provisions ignited a discussion about the law of unintended consequences for the university and officials are expecting backlash from angry students.
“As the news starts to trickle out, I suspect we will see a lot of emails coming into human resources,” Gavin Young, KU Spokesman told KSHB Kansas City.