Student Supervisor Handbook: Workplace Issues and Reporting 

Guidance on workplace issues

A supervisor or student worker who would like guidance on any sort of workplace issue may contact the Student Work Coordinator, who can provide support and options for seeking resolution. 

Contact: Kate Walford, Student Work Coordinator
walfordk@reed.edu | 503-517-4847 | Eliot 202, 8:30am-5:00pm Monday-Friday
make an appointment: katewalford.youcanbook.me 

Performance issues 

Work as an educational process

It is important to remember that student workers are learners, and potentially navigating workplace expectations for the first time. Conversations about performance issues can serve as an educational process where the student is prepared for a workplace beyond Reed, and works with their supervisor to navigate any barriers they are facing to meeting expectations in the workplace. Supervisors are encouraged to consult with the Student Work Coordinator regarding any performance issues.

Documentation

If problematic behavior continues or significant incidents occur, it is important to document all of the behavior or incidents in a confidential place. It is also important to document any conversations, written or oral, that are had with the student worker about their performance. A good way to do this is to send a follow-up email to the student worker summarizing any oral conversations you have - see more below. 

Initial conversation

The first step when a student is not meeting expectations is a conversation. It is important for supervisors to provide this feedback immediately to the student worker. Do not wait until the end of the semester or for an annual evaluation to discuss problematic behavior in the workplace. 

An initial conversation with the student worker should include:

  • What expectations are not being met and the impact of this
  • What changes the student can make to meet these expectations
  • Come from a place of inquiry: ask the student why they are not meeting these expectations and what barriers they may be facing to meeting them. 

Document this conversation with a follow-up email so that there is clarity about what you and the student worker discussed. Ideally, follow-up emails are sent on the same day as the conversation takes place. These are not disciplinary in nature, but simply a way for both parties to memorialize the conversation.

Formal warnings

If performance problems persist and a supervisor believes that a formal warning or improvement plan is necessary, they should contact the Student Work Coordinator immediately for guidance. 

Termination 

Supervisors should contact the Student Work Coordinator regarding termination of a student worker for performance-related issues.The Student Work Coordinator can provide guidance to supervisors regarding making this decision, discussing the decision with a student, and providing the student support. When a student worker’s employment has been terminated, the supervisor should record this in HireEm as soon as possible.

Disclosures of discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct

Reed College encourages all members of the community to report violations or possible violations of Title IX. However, certain employees and students must report. The college has designated the categories of employees listed below as obligated reporters under the DHSM. If you are a college-designated obligated reporter, you are obligated to report any possible violations of the Discriminatory Harassment & Sexual Misconduct policy or Title IX, including violations related to student workers.

Student workers are not obligated reporters of potential violations of the DHSM/Title IX, with the exception of House Advisors and student members of the Adjudicating Boards. 

Am I an obligated reporter? Find out here.

More information about responding to a disclosure and options for survivors. 

Bias incidents and discriminatory harassment

Information about responding to a report of a bias incident or discriminatory harassment can be found on the Office for Institutional Diversity website. 

If a student reports a biased related or discriminatory harassment incident to you or if you believe that they may be about to disclose an incident of bias or harassment, please follow the procedures outlined in the Resource guide for faculty and staff responding to a report by a student. A full list of staff members who are trained to take reports and meet with the student(s) are listed on this website.