Student employee organization connects members across campus

UM-Flint+Assoc.+Director+of+Housing+Jocelyn+Brown+with+students+at+First+Street+Residence+Hall.

UM-Flint Marketing and Communications

UM-Flint Assoc. Director of Housing Jocelyn Brown with students at First Street Residence Hall.

Luis Martinez, Writer

On January 23,  Senator Jacquindre Brown held a forum for student employees where concerns pertaining to student workers were expressed. Brown also presented a draft for the forum’s constitution. 

In an interview with Brown, he recounted the lead-up to the forum. “The event was not just for me to talk to the void, it was to listen to student employees, to get their feedback, and try to create something for the long run,” said Brown. Brown has had the idea for such a forum since the winter 2022 semester. 

Students at the forum expressed their concerns over compensation and conditions. Brown explained that the University of Michigan-Flint resident advisors of UM-Flint housing don’t get paid hourly wages and instead only receive compensation through housing and a meal plan. 

On the UM-Flint housing website, it claims that “the meal plan included is to be used as a tool to connect with residents.” 

Brown stated, “at a time where we change our wages to $13 an hour, housing staff only get paid minimum wage.” The state minimum wage according to the state of Michigan’s Labor and Economic Opportunity is $10.10 per hour.

In addition, international students are only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week. According to the International Customs and Enforcement (ICE), “the F-1 student’s total work hours for all jobs cannot exceed 20 hours during the school term.”

Suggestions were also made for important tools such as Wolverine Access, which is used to clock in hours and receive other important information. Students said this website could be made into an app in order to make it more convenient.

The challenges faced by workers have been one of the stagnant wages whilst prices on necessary goods such as housing, healthcare, and transportation rise. Much of this is shown here on campus and whilst wages on campus have risen, much more work can be done as expressed by the draft of the Constitution for student employees.

Being part of the student employee organization allows for each member to input on the draft and the organization as a whole. The stated purpose of the organization is “to be representatives of the Student Employees, through discussion and collaboration with the administration, other organizations and clubs, and with student employees as a whole, in addition to holding events for student employees for a multitude of purposes.” Such purpose is placed in red and is open to input from the employees.

The next meeting for the forum is set to be scheduled in the near future.