Students who work as Resident Assistants at California Lutheran University are not allowed to hold additional jobs on campus. Resident Assistants receive compensation in the form of a scholarship equivalent to the cost of on-campus housing. This leaves them without the opportunity to use this money earned for their own personal use. This has sparked a reaction from those who have personally experienced this situation.
“It is basically a scholarship. Therefore, RAs technically do not have an income and it is very difficult to afford the ‘college lifestyle’,” former Resident Assistant Talia VanWingerden said in an email interview. “If certain individuals are good with time management and want multiple jobs that they are qualified for, they should have the right to.”
Jobs on campus are extremely desirable and limited at a small campus like Cal Lutheran. There are many other students holding jobs on campus who are not Resident Assistants. Considering the price of on-campus housing, holding a Resident Assistant position is a relatively high-paying job.
In previous years, this rule has not been in effect for Resident Assistants.
“This is the first year that they have not been able to have other on-campus jobs,” Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct Chris Paul said in an email interview. “RAs are compensated very well for their position so if they have another on-campus job, they are taking a job away from other students who are seeking on-campus employment.”
Resident Assistants at other universities are often limited in their ability to work on-campus jobs as well. According to Miami.edu, at the University of Miami, Resident Assistants are allowed to receive compensation for one other on-campus position. They must receive special permission from their housing director to get this privilege.
A much larger school such as the UM can offer other on-campus jobs to their Resident Assistants because there are more jobs avaliable. At Cal Lutheran, the number of on-campus jobs is much smaller and in much higher demand.
“With all of the responsibilities that come with being an RA, I completely understand the decision that was made about holding other on-campus jobs. I also believe that it is fair to give other students, who have never previously had jobs on campus, that opportunity if that means that I remained solely an RA,” current Resident Assistant Stephanie Fallon said in an email interview.
Resident Assistant positions require a great deal of effort and many hours of work. According to the Cal Lutheran website, the job includes planning programs for the residence halls, creating a community within the dorm and keeping order among residents.
The decision to prevent Resident Assistants from working an additional on-campus job has not affected everyone.
Fallon has been satisfied with her experience as a Resident Assistant at Cal Lutheran, and believes that the correct decision was made.
“The decision that was made has not affected my year as an RA in any way. I have had a wonderful experience in this position. While it may seem strange that we are no longer allowed to hold other paid positions on campus, I know how fortunate I am to have been chosen as an RA and I am grateful for that above all,” Fallon said.