Ohio State Can Afford A Living Wage

Ohio State Can Afford A Living Wage

I urge all Ohio State undergraduate students to vote yes on issue 1 and pressure the university into providing a very affordable living wage.
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On March 5-7th, the Ohio State Fight for $15 is seeking to accomplish something unprecedented. There will be a ballot initiative--Issue 1--up for vote in the Undergraduate Student Government election. Such an initiative, of any stripe, has never passed before.

We are calling upon the undergraduate student body of the Ohio State University to vote yes on Issue 1 in order to express the collective will of the more than 45,000 undergraduate students on our campus that waged employees deserve and need to make not only a minimum wage but a living one.

Tuition costs are going up; housing costs are going up; food costs are going up. It is becoming more and more difficult and more and more expensive to be an Ohio State student and to live in Columbus, OH. It seems only natural that wages should rise alongside these increased costs.

The primary objection people seem to have to our campaign is that it is simply unaffordable, unfortunately not possible. This concern is patently absurd in lieu of Ohio State's budget.

Leaving aside, for now, the 13 university employees who pocketed over a million dollars in salary last year--and the countless others who netted six figures--or the notorious $1.3 million clock tower that is nothing more than a glorified exercise in vanity, this school still has a lot of money.

According to their official website, the Ohio State University will be operating with a half a billion dollar surplus in their 2018 budget. That is a staggering amount of money that we will just not be using.

To put this into perspective vis-à-vis the Fight for $15, if the university had to pay 8,000 employees for 24 hours of work all 365 days of the year, without overtime pay, an increased wage of $15 (as opposed to the current minimum wage of $8.30, which some employees already make more than), they would still have roughly $30 million to spare.

Now, of course, this situation is absurd; it is quite literally not possible to work 24 hours a day every day. Delving further into the aforementioned financial summary report, we can see that the university employs roughly 18,000 waged employees (nearly 13,000 students and about 5,000 non-students).

Assuming Ohio State broke overtime pay legislation and was currently only paying all 18,000 of these employees the current minimum wage of $8.30 (which, again, is not the case), all 18,000 of them would still need to work 77 hour workweeks every single week of the year for the proposed wage increase to dip into non-surplus funds. During the Gilded age, the average manufacturing employee worked fewer than 65 hours a week, for perspective.

This also fails to take into account rules that disallow students from working no more than 28 hours a week for the university. Even if every student employee worked their maximum workweek every week of the year (including summer and other breaks), non-student employees would need to literally work between 26 and 27 hours a day, every single day of the year for the wage increase to dip into non-surplus funds. Again, this is obviously impossible.

The idea that this university can somehow not afford to pay their employees a living wage is, frankly, laughable. There is beyond more than enough extra money for us to pay workers what they deserve, what they have earned, what they need to survive and thrive as students or members of this community.

Vote 'yes' on Issue 1.

Cover Image Credit: Ohio State YDSA

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How To Not Be A Terrible Roomie, An 18-Step Guide

Freshmen, take notes.
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Incoming Freshmen, this one is for you,

1. If your roomie is asleep – be quiet.

Don't play music out loud (use headphones), don't make phone calls and if you have to go out into the hallway or common area to make it!

2. Be polite about working late at night.

Make sure the light isn't shining near their bed so it won't be in their faces while they are trying to sleep.

3. Ask before you turn off the light.

There's a reason you have your own personal lamp.

4. Make sure you clean your side of the room.

Don't leave your clothes everywhere, empty your garbage, make your bed, and clean up your desk sometimes

5. If your roomie is studying for a hard test, don't bring friends into your room.

It's just ten times more distracting.

6. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb at night.

This will help with the vibration noises/ringers from your phones. (I attached an example just in case you don't know how to do it).

7. Throw food out in the trash room.

You don't want the odor of old food in your room!

8. Do your laundry.

Don't let your basket overflow onto the floor.

9. If your roomie's parents are coming to visit, CLEAN YOUR SIDE.

Make a good impression!

10. Tell your roomie if you are having someone stay over - don't make it a surprise.

(I made this mistake... it's really awkward).

11. Don't take things without asking.

Even if it is as simple as food.. don't take without asking! IT'S NOT YOURS!

12. Don't talk about your roomie's personal life to other people.

You will hear things when they are talking to their parents, don't repeat it, it's rude.

13. Don't tell people who came over the night before.

This applies ties into rule number 12.

14. Share the room.

If your roomie wants to have a night with someone special, let them. They'll return the favor in the future (don't forget that).

15. Don't bring people they don't like into the room.

It's awkward.

16. If you're pre-gaming with friends, you're responsible for YOU and YOUR FRIENDS mess.

Don't leave bottles laying around - clean up!

17. Talk before changing the room around.

Don't move anything before you talk to the other person.

18. Set some rules when you first move in.

It will make everything a lot easier.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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If You Really Want To Lessen The Divide Between Arts And Athletics, Funding Will Be Equalized

It's right in front of us and has been going unnoticed.

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No matter how old you are, you probably identify at least a little with either the arts or athletics. Growing up, most of us were either the 'cool' kids who typically played some type of sport or the not-so-cool kids that were interested in the arts. A simple question would be, why can't someone be both? Well, it's possible, but do the in-betweeners ever feel completely at home in one setting? This is an issue that tends to extend to college, and a point was brought up to me not long ago regarding the social gap between athletes and other students. In order to eradicate this issue, we must first understand where it stems from.

All in all, it seems to me that the divide begins in schools. Schools are the first places where children are beginning to be socialized, so the most impact tends to be made there. If schools are teaching children to look up to older high school athletes, as most do, it is almost certain that most children will aspire to be a part of that culture when they get to high school. Sure, some students will want to join the arts because they notice an affinity towards them, but some might still look the other way because of what they have been taught to admire.

Once in high school, perhaps even more impact is made. Students are discovering who they are and what their place in the world around them is. The way that their high school treats them means everything because that's typically their world for four long years.

From what I gather, the majority of high schools put athletes on a pedestal, letting them get away with more than others, as well as rewarding them more than others.

There are several problems with this, the first being that other students are placed in the background. Students who take part in the arts in school are often held to a typical standard, where they must follow all of the rules with little leniency and are not as recognized for their achievements as the athletes. However this does not only negatively affect students in the arts, but athletes as well. It might seem a little odd to claim that they are negatively affected while given all the privileges, but it is true to a certain extent.

For example, these athletes will not be adequately prepared for life after high school. After years of being told how wonderful they are and being exempt from average rules of behavior, these students are likely to graduate high school and be shocked at how they are expected to act and how people no longer hand them special privileges.

Both students involved in the arts and athletics are hurt here as well because they are all missing out on the crucial socialization of one group with another that may have different interests.

It is so important that these groups meet so that they are able to network with others who maybe aren't exactly like them. There is also always the possibility that students will find new interests that they did not even know they had by speaking to others outside of their groups.

This divide is also perpetuated by the tendency of school districts of all types to overfund athletics and underfund the arts. While the funding of the school may seem like a thing that wouldn't really affect the social lives of students, it creates a socioeconomic divide of sorts between groups. The arts tend to feel smaller and recognize the divide easily in funding since they face the hardships of it.

If funding was appropriately allocated between programs, this monetary divide could be quickly solved. Perhaps in the absence of the socioeconomic divide, tackling the more social aspect might be easier.

It is so important to address the situation early in elementary, middle, and high schools because it may carry on to university. At the university level, it may be easier to eradicate the divide since most students seem to be on the same page. However, it can still seem intimidating to approach someone of a social group that you have been conditioned to feel uncomfortable around. The divide is unfair for both parties, and the most a student can really do is to step out of their comfort zone and start a conversation with someone they don't know. It starts with the individual, so be kind to others and remember that there is growth in discomfort.

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