April 29, 2022 | LIFE | By Mahnoor Rehman
Equity in research papers and classes, unfortunately, does not mirror itself in the workspaces, industries, institutions, and systems around us. At least not in the way it is defined and advocated for in classes revolving around liberal arts, inclusion, and diversity.
When we talk about equity in workspaces, especially regarding salaries, there are certain topics that are of significance such as equal pay, wage gap, fair pay, minimum wage, and economic security.
The minimum wage is a model utilized vastly around the world and refers to the lowest wage per hour/ week/ month paid to a worker as per law. That means the government of the particular area plays a role in deciding the minimum wage for its workers and it can differ from region to region.
To give context, the minimum wage of the state of Colorado is $12.56 per hour. As students working on campus know already, most of the offices that hire students from Colorado College are paid minimum wage through Student Employment. These students are all working through a variety of job positions and there are no uniform job responsibilities that they have to uptake.
A lot of student writers who are either interested in news reporting and journalism, or just want to engage with the campus climate, work for The Catalyst as writers. They can write for multiple sections of their interests such as Life, Opinion, etc.
The Catalyst is the independent student newspaper of Colorado College. It is fostered by Cutler Publications, which is funding most of the publications on Colorado College’s campus.
Unlike other jobs on campus, being a writer for The Catalyst allows you to earn a stipend rather than hourly pay. This stipend is $15 for one article. The stipend has not increased since my freshman year in 2020.
I believe that is stipend is not enough or fair for the student writers of The Catalyst. Writing an article is not just sitting in a room for a couple of hours and jotting down words on a piece of paper. It requires proper planning, organization, research, evaluation, and execution.
Oftentimes, writers are the ones scheduling meetings for interviewing people which again requires time and effort. Exploring a topic and editing your own work is also a challenging task. Furthermore, most writers have a strict deadline and therefore writers are expected to manage their time accordingly while being in the Block Plan.
I know many people who enjoy news-style writing and composing articles as it has been their passion for a long time. However, it does not justify getting paid less for putting so much effort and doing labor for a writing job that is supposed to be paying you fairly.
If we look at this situation logically, a writer who is putting a minimum of 4 to 5 hours on their individual article is not even earning minimum wage according to the law. In order to achieve equitable workspaces, I hope some sort of attention is given to this problem and sustainable actions are taken in order to pay the writers of The Catalyst fairly.