RA dilemma

This letter is in regard to student employment, which is a very serious matter that obviously has been ignored for far too long. Unfortunately, a close friend and colleague has been involved in a dilemma concerning outside employment. This situation began to snowball last semester, when it was revealed that my friend, James Davis III, had a job other than his RA position. Although very few questions were asked pertaining to this situation, much action was taken. When all was said and done, Mr. Davis was allowed to continue working after being assured by one of his superiors that it was okay for him to work as long as he went through the proper channels. He was even told that he could have worked from day one without question had he consulted with the right person. I might add that RAs receive the lump sum of one dollar per day for their duties. I don’t know of any college student on this campus, nor any on this planet for that matter, than can survive on one dollar per day.

The truth of the matter is James Davis and several other RAs on this campus work in order to survive. James Davis, as well as several other RAs who work full-time as well as part-time jobs outside their RA positions, manages to maintain an excellent GPA. James Davis as well as several other RAs have managed to work and still successfully fulfill their academic and social obligations. James Davis has been nominated for academic awards, community service awards and devoted countless hours to the RA position while still maintaining excellent grades.

With all of Mr. Davis’ accomplishments, he faced only a few hurdles. Hurdle number one was a certain “higher up” that questioned him about his employment status, and told him, “either quit working or quit the RA position.” Hurdle number two was yet another “higher up” who said, “It’s no problem, you should have told me to begin with.” That same “higher up” is recommending that my friend be terminated from his position as RA; that same person saw to it that his babysitter was issued a blue parking sticker although she has never been an NIU student.

Both “higher ups” apparently allowed a certain senior staff member to attain the position, although he was caught doing shots of alcohol as an RA. The second “higher up” of which I speak, has little or no knowledge of the daily activities involved in the residence hall atmosphere, yet he flexes his power at will.

So GTS staff, in your infinite wisdom, what have you accomplished? What have you accomplished with your belligerent and antagonizing attitude toward progressive, positive-minded resident hall officials and your appointment as well as promotion of incompetent and unqualified staff. It seems that quite a bit of backstabbing and kissing is going on in the residence halls. It is not right to block an appointment of a more than qualified senior staff candidate because they were not recommended by a certain high-ranking staff member.

All you have done, residence hall staff, is waste your time badgering an incredibly positive-minded, hard working overachiever. All you have done is concentrate on the fact that one RA’s outside employment was illegal and ignore all of the other RAs who continue and will continue to work. All you have done is attempt to tarnish the impeccable reputation of an overly ambitious individual.

The bottom line is, James Davis works not because of choice but because of basic economic necessity. Furthermore, according to the RA contract, Mr. Davis has in no way, shape or form violated the contract.

Ultimately, as for the interfering agents, all of your efforts were in vain. Only you have failed; Mr. Davis will not.

Andre Dorsey


Communication Studies