- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 13 November 2013
When does volunteer work turn into paid work? When is it morally correct to not pay someone who donates more hours a week to their student run organization than their actual paid job? The Outlook staff believes that serving as an e-board member for any media run student organization acts as a full time-job and should be paid like a full time-job.
The Outlook staff calculated that if we were to compare the amount of hours at our respective paid positions to the amount of hours we spend at The Outlook, our work would never be finished in time for the Tuesday night deadline.
It would seem appropriate if media student-run organizations would be paid minimum wage, but we do not think it would be proper to pay those who do not hold an e-board position.
If e-board members are not permitted to be paid the $7.25 per hour rate, than why doesn't being an e-board member count as an internship?
This idea is not as far-fetched as it may seem. In fact, other well known universities, such as Northwestern in IL, offer internship programs to their editors on their student-run newspaper.
While we understand that The Outlook, as well as other student-run media organizations give us credible work we can use in the future, we feel that our organization's work requires commitment that has not yet been acknowledged by the University.
On top of homework, internships, paid jobs, attending classes, and studying, those who hold e-board positions are also required to participate on a daily basis in our respective organizations. While the staff understands that we signed up for our position knowing the commitment level, we also realize that the work done on a daily basis goes above and beyond what would be classified as normal volunteer work.
The Outlook staff volunteers their time to share their love of writing to University students, faculty, and alumni who reads the paper. On average, members of The Outlook set aside three hours a day to the newspaper. This is more than some professors spend on a lecture in a single day.
The Outlook staff agrees that the student-run newspaper has taught them more about journalism than most of their internships. If students pay to receive those internship credits, The Outlook staff believes that the student-run media organizations on campus should be paid or compensated in some way.
The Outlook staff also think a lot more students would want to join and thus, make these organizations that much better. It would give students more incentive to get involved and hold an e-board position. It may actually broaden the type of people that are seen within the office and increase involvement of non-communication majors. The bottom line is more of a demand means more competition to do one's best.
If student media organizations receive pay for their work, other University club's executive boards may want to earn a weekly paycheck as well. To this statement, The Outlook staff cannot make a sound comment because we are unsure of the work put into the organization while outside the office; The Outlook can only make a testament to their own work and the work of those surrounding student media clubs they ally their selves with.
While it seems unlikely that a paycheck will be arriving in the mail to every member of any student-run media organization's e-board, it is still a hopeful wish. A more simple solution instead of receiving a paycheck could be making the work suffice for an internship. If this is not possible, perhaps money towards tuition would be more valuable and resist a conflict of interest.
CORRECTION: Last week in an article titled "The Social Work Society Hosts 9th Annual Teach-In," Beth Sidlow was credited with working with NJ Hope and Healing but the correct people were Meghan Cusack, a MSW alum, and one of her coworkers. Sidlow presented about her internship with Family Promise. The Outlook regrets this mistake and apologizes for any confusion, and all corrections have been applied to the online edition.