The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


Follow KentWired on Instagram
Today’s Events

SDS starts petition to raise student worker wages

Chloe Wilson-Henline
SDS flier hung inside Franklin Hall

Almost 600 students have signed a petition started by Students for a Democratic Society, calling on the university to raise student worker wages and increase the resident assistant stipend to help students meet the cost of living in Portage County.

Christian Heller, the chair of students for SDS, is a resident assistant on campus. He shared he feels working conditions at the university are unsustainable and don’t allow for financial stability. 

“There’s really a disconnect between the cost of living and how much students are making,” Heller said. 

According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the living wage for one adult with zero children in Portage County is $15.29 per hour. The Ohio minimum wage is currently $10.10. 

Depending on skill level, Kent State offers entry-level jobs starting at $10.10 per hour, and $18.50 is the highest wage for highly specialized areas. 

SDS is asking for a $5 pay increase for all student workers and an increase in the Resident Assistant stipend to $2,000 per semester. The current RA stipend is $500 a semester with free room and board included. The stipend averages to about $1.50 per hour for resident assistants. 

“With the increasing cost of education, coupled with inflation and the lack of increase in wages, nationally and locally, people can’t even afford food, especially when they are students,” Heller said. 

Students around the country are calling on their universities to raise student worker wages. Student workers at universities such as Grand Valley State University, California State University and Missouri University are all demanding higher wages. 

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Emory University have even seen some success — with both universities raising the student minimum wage. 

Heller explained the importance of student workers and how much time and effort they put into the university to keep it running.

“If student workers all quit one day, the university wouldn’t be able to function,” Heller said.

Ariane Robinson, a junior fashion merchandising major, works two jobs at the university. She explained how an on-campus job is the only way she can try and support herself. 

“I don’t have a car,” Robinson said. “I just have to work at the university, but I’m not making enough money, so I had to get a second job.”

For Robinson, working at the university is the most accessible form of work. On-campus jobs are a necessity for some students.

Robinson supported the petition, ultimately leading her to sign it. She, along with almost 600 other students, is hoping noticeable change will take effect at the university.

“I want to be hopeful and hope that it will change,” Robinson said. “I know that when you have such a large group of students advocating for the same thing, it forces the university to notice it and forces them to really pay attention.” 

The university could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.

Chloe Wilson-Henline is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer and Social Media Tech
Chloe is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in marketing. This is her first year with KentWired, and she enjoys writing about pop culture. Contact her at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *