Reviews | Employed students deserve to be paid better
Student housing and food services received a well-deserved raise, but all student employees deserve a raise.
With a lot of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all student employees at the University of Iowa deserve a raise.
With a shortage of employed students on campus, the university took a step toward increasing salaries by granting increases to students working in accommodation and food services. The starting salary for university accommodation and catering has been reduced from $ 9.50 to $ 11 per hour to be more competitive. However, this should apply to all students with jobs on campus.
The last few years have been financially difficult for many students. It’s no surprise that the university is struggling to fill jobs that don’t pay enough to cover living expenses.
A to study of Georgetown University found that 70 percent of students in the United States work, but cannot afford school and the cost of living.
Over time, it has become nearly impossible for low-income students to be able to afford tuition fees in addition to living expenses. In the 60s and 70s, a student working part-time during school and full-time during the summer could afford tuition and general living expenses at an average four-year public university. It’s almost unheard of now.
It’s also important to note that working in college can come at the expense of studying for many students. A to study found that 59 percent of low-income students working 15 hours or more received C averages or less. Having to work enough to offset the cost of living and school fees leaves little time for school.
One area on campus where students need increases is the campus recreation and wellness center.
Jacob Sueppel is an undergraduate student at the university studying secondary education. Sueppel works at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in member services. In this position, he is responsible for registering people in the establishment, answering phone calls, selling memberships, managing clients who do not follow the rules of the establishment, etc.
Sueppel said the starting salary for recreation center students is $ 8.50 / hour, while the salary for member services workers increases to $ 9.50 / hour and supervisors are paid 10.50 $ / hour.
When Sueppel heard that some students were getting a raise, he figured he would get one as well.
âWhen we first heard about the increases, I thought ours was probably going to happen, but that didn’t happen,â Sueppel said. âIt’s kind of crazy because we’re not asking a lot and paying rent plus utilities is really stressful. A dollar or two more would go a long way. I know people have had to quit because they cannot afford to live on this salary.
Additionally, Sueppel said last year the rec was understaffed and just recently they were able to hire more staff.
It’s not an unreasonable demand when students demand small salary increases, especially when economists say $ 15 minimum wage are ideal for boosting the economy and reducing poverty.
Students should not have to beg to be paid enough to live and attend school, especially when working and managing university facilities. Nor should it take an extreme staff shortage for the university to start offering higher salaries.
It is a good step for university accommodation and catering staff to receive increases. However, it is time for all employed students to be better paid.
Columns reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.