Calling Out RIT Administration
by Alyssa Jackson | published Nov. 11th, 2014
I currently hold five different jobs on campus, including my Editor in Chief job here at Reporter. In addition, I hold an off campus job and attend school full time.
At the time of writing this, I have five more days until I am paid again for my work on campus. I also have $10 in my bank account to last me until then.
What I make here at RIT is what I have to live on. If I run out of food, I don't eat. If my computer breaks, I make do with campus technology. If my car stops working, I have to find a ride to school and hope that my schedule lines up with someone else.
On Oct. 10, our news section published an article regarding workers' rights here on campus. Turns out, a lot of other students feel similarly that they should be paid as adults when having the expenses of adults. However, the article focused on people who work hourly jobs on campus (who are still suffering due to the 20 hour weekly limit that they are allowed to work). What I'm betting is that a number of students don't realize that your MSO leaders, for example me, any of the editors here on staff and members of Student Government, generally make a lot less than minimum wage thanks to the stipend system and the insane number of hours that we put in at our jobs.
College is a time for students to act like adults with help from universities, educators and parents. There are resources on campus that could help you figure out how to file your taxes, how to ace that job interview and how to make the best use of your money. Despite this, it seems that we are still earning teenage wages to pay for adult expenses, in addition to the expensive text books, class fees and parking passes required by RIT.
So I'm calling you out, RIT administration. Raise our wages, pay us fairly. If you can find donors to build a hockey rink, I bet you could find donors that would want to help end poverty among students. Minimum wage is not fair, and less than minimum wage for your MSO leaders certainly isn't fair either. Quality of work would go up, your students wouldn't be starving to pay for their textbooks at the beginning of the semester and you would be one of the most humane colleges out there (a livable wage would be a great marketing tool for new students).
I'm not saying that we should be paid according to industry standards. However, if I spend one more week hungry because I can't afford to go to RIT, I may just lose it.