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PSU Student Employees Worry About the Affordable Care Act

Penn State student employees are worried about how the Affordable Care Act will affect them.
PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State student employees are worried about how the Affordable Care Act will affect them.

Students there say the university may cut their hours, in turn, cutting their pay.

The Affordable Care Act is complicated and stressing Laurel Petrulionis out.

"The president and vice president of the University Park Undergraduate Association have been going to a lot of meetings with administrators and Human Resources," Petrulionis said. "We're trying to express the fact that it's really not cool students are getting their hours cut."

Starting in January 2014, Penn State students say the university will mandate a 20-hour work wee for student employees, instead of the 40-hour week they can work now.

"A lot of students, unfortunately, have to work 40 hours a week in order to pay for tuition, pay for living expenses," Petrulionis said.

The university employees thousands of students, but under the new health care act, Penn State will have to provide health insurance to any student who works over 30 hours, something they say will be costly.

At this point, the university says the decision making process is still in its early stages. They say the Office of Human Resources is working to assess the impact.

"Every institution is struggling at this time to interpret what the law will mean for students....as we determine how the law may affect our student employees and work to find the best possible outcomes, we will share that information publicly," University Spokesperson, Annemarie Mountz, said.

Laurel says as a member of student government and as a voice for her peers, she, and others, feel the need to speak out.

"It says in our constitution and in our oath of office that we're here to ensure the betterment of student life," she said. "If students aren't able to pay for that student life, that's definitely an issue we need to be on top of."

The amount of information available from Penn State on the matter is limited, as it is still in its early stages.

We will continue following this story.
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