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RAs due for raise

February 3, 2012

According to Dean Mohsin Masood, students working for residence life are due for a salary raise. Currently, first year Resident Assistants make $2400 for the year, but Masood plans on raising their salary as soon as the college provides the available funds. However, house managers who make $1650 a year and head residents who make $3550 per year could also be seeing a salary increase in the near future.

According to Masood, the current salary for students in residence life is fair, but needs to be raised. RAs have numerous duties that should be compensated. According to senior RA for Fulton Hall Danielle Kita, RAs have many responsibilities that fall outside of the job description.

“I hope [Residence Life] realizes we do a lot of work,” said Kita. “I’ve had to deal with girls with alcohol poisoning and fire alarms at 4 a.m.”

However, some members of Residence Life believe the job description covers any emergency, for Sigma Phi Epsilon House Manager, Pete Lipinski, feels he is responsible for reporting anything suspicious.

“I believe that my job description pretty much covers [anything],” said Lipinski. “And I actually feel that within the last year I have personally had to deal with less intoxicated individuals than RAs and HRs in some other buildings on campus.”

House managers and RAs do have different job descriptions. RAs are responsible for organizing building programs and doing an hourly round throughout their entire building while on duty. House managers, however, are in charge of doing two weekend rounds or one weekday round across the entire campus to each Greek house. HRs do administrative work for their building, assist the hall council, work with residents to maintain academics and discipline, and do the same kind of rounds as RAs. Each position typically is on duty once per week.

The amount of work does differ for each position in Residence Life. However, most workers agree that the pay should be equalized and not based on the number of residents or dependant on wet or dry housing. John Grzywa, a senior RA in Graham Hall, believes paying people a different salary based on those stipulations is a good idea but not realistic.

“You must realize that as an RA, we always get to work where our first choice was,” said Grzywa. “We do know the amount of work we are required to do and the salary before we sign the contract.”

Lipinski would rather see Residence Life employees pay be based on the number of responsibilities a worker has.

“Both dry and wet houses have their ups and downs, and fraternities and sororities cannot decide the number of rooms in their houses since the college owns them,” he said. “So I do not necessarily feel that it would be fair that just because your facility cannot house the same number of residents as the complex it would not be fair to lower the pay.”

Dean Masood has a similar opinion to Lipinski’s.

“The salary should be the same across the board,” said Masood. “An RA in North could do something that is not applicable to an RA in Liedman, but the RA in Liedman will have to do something that is equally important.”

Kita took Masood’s “across the board” statement to heart. She agrees that salaries should be the same for everyone – meaning house managers should be paid the same as RAs. RAs and House managers have had time to think of why they want raises especially since house managers under Billy Bernard are currently trying to push for a salary increase.

“I would like to see house managers make equal pay to RAs or at least be allowed raises for returning just as RAs and HRs are given,” said Lipinski who is a second year house manager.

Working for Residence Life does have its benefits. Masood explained that RAs, house managers and HRs all get a double single for no extra costs. HRs and house managers all get a designated parking spot. They must still pay for their parking sticker and housing. Also those RAs and house managers living in premium housing, such as North Hall (which is approximately $300 extra), must pay the premium housing fee as well.

Former RA Will Grunow calculated that second year RAs typically make $4.21 per hour. Second year RAs make $291 per month. Each RA is on duty for an average of 34 hours per month (four five-hour shifts plus two seven-hour weekend shifts). RAs are require to have one office hour per day plus half hour meetings with Kathy Wagoner every other week and a one hour weekly staff meeting, totaling 69 hours per month.

Regardless of if RAs receive the raise they have been promised, some will continue work for Residence Life because they enjoy the work.

“I wanted to be an RA because I like being able to help people and be a leader in my building,” said Kita. “I like bonding [with the girls in my building] and I feel like I have an influence on them.”

Just like Kita, Lipinski has other reasons for being an house manager. He does not want to lose the relationship he has with his brothers in SigEp.

“I love living with my brothers and even if I was offered a job as an RA or HR, I would probably turn it down so I could live in a house with my best friends.”

Stevie Croisant
Copy/Layout Editor

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