Letter to the editor: Student Employment Committee

YOUNG DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA

10/24/2022

Since the beginning of the fall semester, the Young Democratic Socialists of America have been meeting regularly to discuss important topics such as voter registration and the conditions of student workers on campus.

Encouraging young people to vote is a focal point for YDSA. We will continue to have a table in the lobby of Hamilton Commons leading up to the midterm elections where students can register to vote.

The key focus of YDSA moving forward will be supporting the new Student Employment Committee. The committee was established to give on-campus workers a collective space to voice concerns about the conditions of working for the college.

Using the afflictions brought to light by its members, the Student Employment Committee has drafted a report on the dire conditions of student employment at Alma College. Some of the recommendations given in the report include the creation of a feedback system for employees, standardized scheduling systems, wage raises, and adequately staffed and fairly treated workers. This report was shared to administration earlier this month with the outline that further action would be considered if administration did not respond to requested changes to student employment policy within two weeks. The committee is still waiting for a full response to their demands.

On Monday, October 17th, the two-week deadline, the College’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Damon Brown, met with the committee to discuss the concerns in the report.

Following this meeting, Brown attended the student congress meeting, also on October 17th, at which any students could ask questions in respect to actions to be taken by administration to address the report. This student congress meeting was incredibly well attended, maxing out the seating in the chapel, and many Alma students were given the opportunity to hear the moderate and hesitant approach that administration is taking to repairing the appalling practices currently in place for our student workers.

The Student Employment Committee is expecting a more specific response to each aspect of the report by the next Student Congress meeting on October 31st.

Between acting as mentors for underclassmen as Resident Assistants and First Year Guides, to directing on campus activities as ACUB and Recreation Center workers and even keeping the college prosperous for years to come by providing individualized tour experiences for prospective students in Admissions, student workers are what makes life here at Alma College possible.

YDSA and the Student Employment Committee are confident that the Administration will think critically and follow the recommendations of our workers and implement the necessary changes so that we all may once again feel supported as members of the Alma College family.

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