In Solidarity with Scripps RAs
Editorial Board | April 14, 2017, 12:01 p.m.
We support the resident advisors at Scripps College. We support the work they do as well as their right, and need, to not do that work — we support the strike.
However, without working RAs, there are many important responsibilities not being fulfilled at Scripps, as detailed in the list of RA demands. It makes us uncomfortable to know that there are now fewer people who will respond to emergencies, serve as as resources for students in need, or be present as symbols of safety and authority in difficult times.
It’s awful to think about a student who doesn’t feel supported because other people aren’t doing their job.
But it’s even more awful to know that a student who doesn’t feel supported is expected to support dozens of other students on their floor. It’s especially terrible when that student goes to hours of meetings each week while not being paid fairly, because most of their payment goes to living in residence halls furnished by prison labor or is fed back into contractors — including Sodexo — in the form of food that some RAs can’t even eat. (See Demand 4, fourth paragraph.)
This lack of support is compounded by the fact that many RAs at Scripps — as well at other Claremont Colleges — are people of marginalized identities, specifically low-income and of color. Students are often tracked into positions as RAs because it’s one of the only on-campus jobs that pays a decent wage, even if much of that wage, as we’ve said, goes straight back into room and board.
Being an RA shouldn’t be another way to be failed by an institution that claims to consider you an asset. Indeed, given what we expect from RAs, they should be the best-supported people on campus.
We stand in solidarity with Scripps RAs and all other RAs at the Claremont Colleges.