Section: archive

CAs overworked and underpaid

By Staff

Has the job of community advisor grown too big for students? The Chronicle of Higher Education posed that question in 1990, before most of Kenyons current Community Advisors (CAs) were even born. Community advisors, the article said, are dealing with such difficult problems as alcoholism, suicide, homophobia, racism, date rape, eating disorders, and stress. [E]ven intensive training cant prepare [them] for every situation they might confront. Two decades later, the Chronicles question is still alarming. Does the Office of Housing and Residential Life have sensible expectations for its CAs, and are they compensating them accordingly?

Kenny Fedorko 13, whos been a CA for three years, admits that he cannot meet all of ResLifes expectations. CAs are good at helping first years manage the transition from home to dorm, but it is unreasonable to ask that their 20 hours a week include crisis management and policy enforcement. That should be the domain of the four full-time assistant directors, not underpaid CAs who moonlight as full-time students.

Of course being a CA has its perks a single and a $1,400 stipend appealing enough to trigger a record-setting number of applications from new and returning CA. But the pay scheme is flawed, and Housing and Residential Life knows it. CAs on financial aid receive free room and board as well as the stipend, but it comes out of their financial aid package.

If Assistant Dean of Students for Housing and Residential Life Alicia Dugas and her colleagues are really bothered by the salary issue, its time the administration takes note and reforms the Community Advisors compensation package. If the College can come up with $200,000 for a new website, it ought to find the funds to end a system that deters students on financial aid and underpays CAs tasked with the critical job of making this Colleges living spaces welcoming and safe.

Caleb Bissinger and Lili Martinez, Editors-in-Chief

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