Staff Editorial

Usually when the topic of campus pay comes up, people complain over the amount students employed by the university make: minimum wage.
While this reflects a legitimate concern, we at The Lawrentian view the discrepancy between how much students employed in some positions actually “work” compared to others — while receiving the same pay — to be a more pressing concern.
The selection of jobs on campus is, of course, wide and varying. The general options provided, though sometimes competitive, overall provide student with a decent number of choices, suiting their schedules and interests.
The major flaw of our current campus employment, however, lies within this very variation: the actual amount of studying students can manage while working their campus jobs differs greatly from position to position.
Some jobs, such as working in dining services, as a tutor in the CTL or on grounds crew, demand the full attention and labor of students on the job.
Other positions, such as the desk monitors in the academic buildings or the circulation desk clerks at the library, allow students to do homework for almost the entirety of their shifts. These students earn the same amount as those who work in more demanding and time-consuming positions.
Besides a few rare positions — such as being a personal trainer in the Alexander Gym — most campus jobs start out at $6.50.
Phon-a-thon employees, who solicit donations from alumni, make more than the standard wage; this is due to the position’s lack of desirability and the need to attract employees. This case shows the administration’s willingness to recognize a disparity between amount and type of work demanded by certain jobs.
Because there is a sufficient amount of student interest in filling the other campus positions, the administration does not, from a purely economic standpoint, need to recognize disparity among other campus positions with differing pay grades.
We feel that this policy does not take students’ needs and efforts into account. Realistically, someone listening to the Velvet Underground on their iPod while sitting undisturbed at the Mudd media center should not be getting paid the same hourly wage as someone who scrubs pots in the bowels of Downer on Saturday mornings.
Until the administration rectifies this inequality, Lawrence’s student employment policy will remain hypocritical and unfair.