Letter to the Editor: Treatment of Loyola RAs is exploitative


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It appears that Loyola’s “Master Plan” isn’t so masterful after all, or possibly its mastery lies in the exploitation of its hardest working employees – resident assistants.

RAs do a huge amount of work to make Loyola’s residential buildings run, and I have seen firsthand how imposing the workload can be. RAs are compensated for the cost of a single room and a meal plan for the school year. For some, this is a significant chip away at student loans, but for many RAs, the free housing and food make it financially possible for them to attend. However, Loyola seems to have realized the inflexibility of these students’ situations and is using it for the university’s own gain.

Recently it came to my attention that in the upcoming school year, Loyola will be using the RAs’ living quarters as overflow housing. RAs were simply informed that they will have roommates this fall semester for an indeterminate amount of time, until other rooms clear out and there is room for the extra students. This action puts unfair pressure on the RAs to abide by these demands, since many of them need the job to be able to afford Loyola. Don’t worry, though: Loyola is compensating these RAs $65 a week, which is the weekly difference from a single room price to a double room price.

This seemingly genuine attempt at reparation becomes embarrassing when one considers that the students who are living with the RAs are paying $3427 to the university per semester (price of a double in Biever) which, divided over a 17 week semester, comes out to a little over $200 a week. I demand to know what the University is doing with the extra $135 per student per week they are pocketing using this tactic, and why the money isn’t going to RAs to compensate them for their inconvenience.

The bottom line is that the way Loyola has handled the situation is sloppy and unprofessional. Housing for students in the upcoming year should have been planned for many months in advance; RAs should not be informed they will have roommates four weeks before the start of the semester. Maybe this was a last resort, and even so, these RAs still deserve a choice. These are adults who were guaranteed the benefit of a single room in return for their work, and now that benefit has been taken away without their input.

Even if some RAs are glad to do it (and I’m sure many of them will be, since they are some of the most dedicated and involved students at the university), Loyola should at least pay them all the extra housing money it received from the students that will be staying in their rooms and let them know that other options were explored first. And if not, it just might make a nice case study in exploitative labor practices for future students in the business school.


Jordan Harbaugh, biological science senior

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