The 27th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium was held at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering on Friday, May 17th. Over 1,200 students from UW and partnering institutions presented research spanning more than 100 disciplines.

We're proud of the Bridges Center Research Team, including the Research Assistants, who presented their findings on "The State of the Student Worker at the University of Washington". Team members Areeg Ahmed, Bisma Ali, Maya Bolin, Maya Cruz, Eqra Mohamed, Drake Monfregola, Niki Muratori, and Sara Sprague surveyed over 600 UW students across all three campuses in the winter quarter. They are currently conducting interviews and analyzing data. 


This research seeks to provide a better understanding of student workers - those who balance the demands of higher education with employment - and their relationship with work. This study explores the intricacies of labor performed by undergraduate students enrolled at institutions of higher education, specifically at the three University of Washington campuses. To gain a comprehensive perspective of student workers, this study employs the use of surveys and interviews. Ensuing research explores the nature of labor that student workers perform and why, the conditions in which they work, their knowledge of workers’ rights, and the undeniable connection between work and personal lives. The findings of this study aim to highlight the challenges that exist for students who are also workers. This study acts as a resource for student workers to further their understanding of workers’ rights and their collective position as workers. Analysis of this study’s findings informs recommendations to improve the working and living conditions for student workers at the University of Washington.

Initial findings include that students work for various reasons, with 84% reporting they work to pay for daily expenses, 46% for housing costs, and 37% for paying all or part of their tuition. Regarding workers' rights, 45% reported feeling that they had inadequate knowledge about their rights. There is much more to report, and the team looks forward to sharing their findings.

Congratulations to the research team and assistants for their great presentation at the symposium!