End Systematic Exploitation by University Residences at Western Washington University

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Resident Advisers of Western Washington University have concerns regarding University Residences' decisions and the impact they have had on our jobs.

University Residences has not adequately met the critical concerns of both student staff members and residents in a number of incidents. Specifically, many Resident Advisers, from all regions of campus and over many years, have personally experienced injustices in this position. Underneath are listed some of the incidents and issues facing Resident Advisers at Western Washington University.

Security

  • Two different communities at Western Washington University experienced several sexually charged incidences in the 2016-2017 academic year that leadership within University Residences failed to address. One of these incidents involved a convicted felon entering the room of a resident adviser.

Care of Student Personnel

  • Resident Advisers of one community did not have a Resident Director for three months. They were subjected to harassment, intimidation, and a distinct lack of communication. When these issues were brought to a Human Resources representative and the Director of University Residences, both failed to take action.

Adequate Compensation

  • Resident Advisers are required to take and pay for a class with personal tuition after being hired.
  • Resident Advisers are required to attend two weeks of training before Fall quarter and are not compensated for this time
  • Resident Advisers often exceed their contracted 19 hour work week, and are not compensated for it. 
  • Due to the nature of the job, and differences in on-campus communities, many Resident Advisers often have to put in more hours of work than other Resident Advisers. Despite these differences, all Resident Advisers are paid the same amount.
  • Resident Advisors receive a bi-weekly stipend of $35. This stipend has not been adjusted for inflation since 1986.

Institutionally, University Residences has shown itself to be disinterested in the concerns of its student staff, and disinclined to initiate real change, even when such changes are necessary to bring this university in compliance with state and federal labor standards.

University Residences has also failed to address the concerns of students of marginalized identities.

  • Resident Advisers and residents are cornered into holding conversations regarding their identities which can easily become problematic, as the RA is contractually obligated to remain neutral, regardless of whether the resident makes an inappropriate or oppressive statement.

In summary, the residence hall communities have been negatively impacted by poor leadership, and, in our experience, many cases have been mishandled, ignored, or discounted as inconsequential. We have been told on multiple occasions to trust the system that consistently shows us it is incapable, and uninterested, in addressing the issues we bring forward.


Above are just a few of the many concerns that Resident Advisers of Western Washington University have. To see the formal letter and full list of demands that has been sent to University Residences administration, or to contact us, visit our website at: https://therasofwwu.wixsite.com/beliberated

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