Drug screenings not necessary for on-campus, minimum wage jobs

Opinions Columnist | Electronic Media junior

College students applying for on-campus jobs should not have to submit to drug screenings. They do not seem necessary considering the fact that a large part of these positions are fairly simple in terms of their required tasks. A great resume should be reason enough for any work-study job.

For starters, a drug screening sends a message of mistrust to the applicants. The fact that the applicants are in college should convince employers that they are responsible and competent enough for the position. In the event the student fails the screening, however, it may ruin any other chance they have at on-campus employment. The screenings delve a bit deep into students’ personal lives, much like an invasion of privacy. There is also the possibility of a prescription drug showing up in the results, which could be misleading.

To be honest, only federal or military careers should require drug screenings since they are higher-level jobs with more at stake. On-campus jobs, fast food restaurants, retail stores and professions of that nature do not even require a degree, suggesting a lack of importance in regards to job qualifications. In this case, drug use is unlikely to interfere with such jobs since they do not need much experience for them.

On the other hand, a drug screening could be administered when employees prove themselves incapable of performing the necessary tasks in the workplace. Suspicion of inebriation or the influence of drugs with reasonable doubt may be one of very few exceptions. With students leading completely different lives, however, it may be difficult to tell which student is using drugs if any. The idea of a random screening may answer that question, but it is unfair if only one employee is tested.

A student with a criminal record seems to be the most suitable candidate for analysis. Considering the fact that they may be on parole or probation, a drug exam is actually mandatory in compliance with their parole regulations. Problems with previous employers may serve as reason for the exam also. Even with that being said, there are still very few legitimate reasons to test students for drugs.

Overall, full-time, hard-working students should be exempt from these evaluations. Criminal records or workplace incompetency are two of very few exceptions to this claim, as are higher-level jobs in the federal government or military. On-campus employers should respect the privacy of the students and simply judge their ability to work by their resume and the tasks they complete in the workplace. Unless a student is planning to work for the CIA, drug tests are simply unnecessary.