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.

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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Professors change students' outlook on learning

Which professor you get DOES matter.

The professor makes the class.

This statement could not be more true, in my opinion. Students can take courses on the most riveting topics, but not learn or understand due to a bad professor. Luckily, most of the professors I have encountered have been engaging and have opened my mind to learning new things.

I am currently studying journalism, which is a subject I already love. However, my professor Dr. B is so incredibly passionate about the field. Every class she shares stories and anecdotes about her time as a journalist for a major Canadian newspaper, and her enthusiasm is contagious. As a student journalist, it is exciting to hear stories from someone who has had vast experience in the field. Her excitement inspires me to be just as passionate about my future career.

I am also studying political science, and I am enrolled in the African Politics course. Prior to the class, I had no knowledge of African Politics. I took the course because I wanted to learn a new subject, and I knew that Dr. Ziemke would have endless experiences to share. Because I had previously taken her for International Relations, I knew that she had worked in Africa as a volunteer on the Peace Corps, and she had a deep connection to Africa. Her passion, humor, and stories are what make a three-hour long class bearable.

Passionate professors create passionate students who are prepared and excited to improve their fields of study. These professors shape and mold students, give students encouragement and support, challenge students, and help students reach their potential. Professors have so much power to influence the future through their students.

It is important to understand how much a professor can truly affect how invested students are in a topic. When students have subpar professors, they tune out and do what they need to do in order to pass. When presented with a passionate, engaging professor, students take a deeper interest in the material. They put forth more effort because they understand the value of the topic being studied and want to tackle any issues in that field.

I truly believe that professors have the power to make or break a class.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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I Changed My Major, And So Can You

​One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college.

One of the hardest parts of college is choosing what you want to get out of college. There’s a lot to think about when you choose where you want to go. Do you want a big or small school, in or out of state, weather, the full college experience, etc.

A decision that is left to be made once you’ve already committed to a school is what you’re going to do after graduation. Your major often reflects this decision. Some know exactly what they want to do and others take a little more time to figure it out.

(AKA me)

I did running start in high school and graduated with my associate’s. Then I came to WSU to pursue a degree in public relations. I was sure working in PR for a non-profit was what I wanted to do but turns out, it’s not.

I am now pursuing a double major in Speech and Hearing Sciences and I plan to be a speech therapist after school. My plans changed quite a bit in the two years I was at WSU.

For anyone else who’s still thinking about what you want your major to be or maybe changing your major, here’s some advice from my experience with trying to figure out my life all at once.

1. Cut yourself some slack

It’s okay to change your mind or not know what you want to do yet. Don’t let people fool you, most of us don’t have it all figured out.

2. Talk to people in the careers you’re interested in

Going out and talking to people in the field you’re interested in is more helpful than talking to an advisor or your professor. When I was thinking about speech therapy, the advisors at WSU didn't know much about it and I learned more from talking to real speech therapists.

3. Take the baby steps

It’s overwhelming if you need to change your major or you start thinking too far into the future. It’s important to slow down and think about what needs to be done now and worrying about the rest when it’s time. When I decided to double major I started thinking about how I would need to apply for more loans, get an apartment, take the GRE but the only thing I needed to do at the time was email my advisor. I could figure out the rest later.

4. What’s important to you?

I’ve always wanted to work with kids and have a job that helps people. It’s also important for me to have a job that is flexible for when I have a family. After talking to family friends and looking into speech therapy, it sounded like the perfect career to me. I could work in the school district and have the same breaks as my future kids.

5. Will you be able to find a job?

Most people go to college to get a job. This is something to consider when choosing a major because some career fields are more competitive than others. If I'm going to pay for graduate school, I want to be able to find a job right away. Speech pathology is a growing field and I shouldn't have a problem finding a job.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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