Fries with that exam? College professors asked to help with food

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EAST LANSING — Short of help, Michigan State University is making an urgent plea to staff and faculty members to volunteer in campus dining halls.

MSU’s residential services department already has asked 132 full-time employees to work eight hours a week, the Lansing State Journal reported, but it’s apparently not enough.

“Faculty and staff from around campus are invited to sign up to assist in the dining halls. We have specific needs during evenings and weekends,” Vennie Gore, a senior vice president, said in an email to deans.

Gore provided a link to a criminal background check and tips on how to prepare for the first shift.

Devin Silvia, director of undergraduate studies in MSU’s computational math department, said the request was “astounding.”

“I am all about supporting the MSU student community and making sure they have a positive experience,” Silvia said. “But at the end of the day, I’m doing that in my own career and questioning whether I’m being sufficiently compensated.”

About 4,000 students typically work in dining halls, but only 1,200 were employed at the end of September, the State Journal reported.

Starting pay recently was raised to $12 to $15 an hour. Gore said MSU is competing with local businesses for workers.

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