At least some CSUN student workers get priority registration

Abbey Seltzer

Can you put a price on getting your class? Apparently, it’s possible.

Some CSUN workers who are paid in stipends are unfairly compensated for the work they do. Students working for New Student Orientation, as Resident Advisors in the dorm, and for the Academic Mentor Program receive a small stipend each month, but are not paid hourly.

Their only other payment is priority registration. While this may be a perk at the beginning of each semester, the rest of the time, they do not receive any monetary compensation except the stipends or a meal plan.

“The amount of work we do varies each week,” said Destiny Lewis, a second-year Resident Advisor. “Weeks when the residents are partying can be a lot of work. When the students are more mellow, there’s less to do.”

In the Housing department, RA’s are assigned to either apartment-style dorms or the freshman-only buildings, which don’t have kitchens. If the dorm has a kitchen, the RA can receive a $200 stipend for groceries. If there is no kitchen, they get a free meal plan.

How much did you spend in the last month on groceries? Now add up eating out. Most likely, it was more than $200.

RA’s do have the benefit of not paying for their dorm, but if they have no other means of earning money, this simply means they don’t have to work thirty hours a week to pay the rent. There still isn’t any disposable income.

“The administration doesn’t care how many hours we work outside of being an RA,” said Lewis, “But it can be difficult with our schedules. On campus, we can’t work more than 20 hours a week.”

At least the RA’s earn any kind of money in addition to free rent. The New Student Orientation volunteers must spend more than 75 hours working for program and receive no monetary compensation for their effort. If they have jobs, they must take time off to attend the trainings, overnight retreat, and a week of orientation. The reward? Again, priority registration and a stipend.

See the pattern yet?

The administration is dependent upon its student workers but cannot pay them. The only thing students want more than money is priority registration.

But with so many groups on campus receiving early registration, who is really getting the first chance to enroll? Athletes? RA’s? Note takers? NSO leaders?

In the end, it doesn’t matter who is registering first, just that there is an opportunity to get ahead of the rest of the university. Giving classes to those with schedule constraints like mandatory on-campus meetings, practices and games, and 12-hour days seems fair considering they don’t get paid in any other way.

Still upset that so many groups on campus are getting priority registration but you aren’t? Join one of the groups. The perks are worth the free labor.