Living Wage for NPC and IFC Staff at the University of Mississippi

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Upon the promotion of the recent expansions to many of the University of Mississippi’s NPC and IFC houses, we, current and former students and NPC/IFC members of the University of Mississippi, feel it urgent to speak out against the unjust employment of their staff. NPC sorority and IFC fraternity staff members should be guaranteed ethical and equal compensation for their labor, namely a living wage. The assumption is the sole provider is working full-time (2080 hours per year, which we know NPC and IFC house staff are only paid during the fall (August 10th-November 24th 2020) and spring semesters (January 19th-May 7th 2021). There is limited job security, and it is difficult to accrue savings as most of the staff are in a consistent cycle of ‘getting by’ when they resume work. 

We also agree that NPC and IFC house staff should receive comprehensive benefits to include: medical, vision, dental, and 401K opt-in for themselves and benefit eligibility for their dependents. There are multiple house staff who have been employees at the same house for decades, but have their wages increased to a living wage? Are they eligible for more than just medical insurance? As current and former participants (and payers) of this system, we have the right to ask these questions and seek solutions. Those who have been part of this system know that we can mobilize and change the current system.

The NPC and IFC staff wage is determined by the house corporation, making this an independent factor in a collective issue on campus. We ask all current and alumni NPC and IFC members to challenge the notion of silence, and to demand transparency on your houses’ staff wage and benefits. We demand authentic communication and accountability from house corporations, “house-mothers”, and the university. To date, we have no records of what each staff member is paid, benefits they receive (or don’t receive), and annual evaluations/promotions.The norms of silence between members, house corporations, and the staff have perpetuated an unequal and unjust system, one of which the university turns a blind eye to. 

Most students on campus have, in some way, participated in an NPC or IFC organization, interacted with an NPC/IFC member, or supported an NPC or IFC philanthropic event. As a collective, and university, we are all engaging in the stratification of class between the staff and the members by perpetuating and accepting the current structure of payment. While members may express their love and appreciation to staff members directly, support for their labor, welfare, and humanity falls short. In these complicated times navigating a global pandemic, we are especially concerned for the health and wellbeing of the house staff as they are an at-risk population and deserve communication on potential hazard pay as essential employees. 

We have to do better, and we must do better.

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