Open letter to ASWC – Whitman Wire
The Whitman Thread is essential for delivering news on campus, employing more than 50 student reporters, photographers, illustrators, production associates and editors.
However, ASWC is currently considering organizing Thread’s The stipend budget at $ 20,000, about half the salary previous editorial boards received, while the salaries of officers of other clubs have remained largely constant from last year.
All non-editorial staff of Thread are paid the minimum hourly wage out of the club’s annual budget. Editorial staff are remunerated by allowances from ASWC fees. Fees are used to pay student allowances for media organizations, Power and Privilege Symposium leaders, ASWC positions, the Whitman Events Board (WEB), and members of various committees. Editorial allowances have historically been comparable to the minimum hourly wage based on an estimate of hours worked during the semester. However, the benefits are not calculated on the basis of the minimum wage.
At the start of my tenure as editor-in-chief of Thread, I was given a budget that did not include editorial board allowances. I was informed by the previous editor that we had not yet requested allocations from ASWC, only the main budget. She had repeatedly asked the ASWC whether it should include allocations in the budget request; he was told not to.
In subsequent meetings, I was told that the past Cable the leaders had been informed and had agreed to significant reductions in our salaries. The former ASWC president said in an email to Thread on October 2, 2021 that “the people in your place before you have been informed and have consented to this change”.
“Former editor Ella Meyers and I weren’t aware of this, and we did not consent to any of these changes being made to editorial board allowances,” said former editor Alasdair. Padman. Thread.
In sum, ASWC fees have been reduced by 41% this semester. ASWC asserted that Thread was facing cuts as part of an overall decline, in part because of challenges related to COVID and serving to create new paid positions for other organizations to ensure more students are paid for their job.
However, the ASWC did not make fair changes. The vast majority of these cuts were made from Cable editorial board positions.
The fees fund 124 allowances; 58 of these allocations did not change between Spring and Fall 2021. There were 30 new allocations created this semester.
Among those who have changed, three positions on the Bon Appetit advisory board have been reduced by 26%. The remuneration of the Marketing Director of the Power and Privilege Symposium has been reduced by 16%. Any other no-Cable post which saw his salary change received a salary increase. For example, the compensation of the two quarterlife editors increased by 42%. All WEB positions, with the exception of the president, increased by 13%. The position of member of the President’s Budget Advisory Committee increased by 36%.
The remuneration of the ASWC executive board did not change between spring and fall 2021.
In total, ASWC increased its spendingCable allocations, allocating an additional $ 13,950 compared to spring 2021. Funds allocated to Thread were reduced by $ 14,100 from spring 2021. Compensation for each Cable the position of the editorial board was reduced by 50% or more.
The Cable provides vital services to our campus: keeping the community informed, holding administration accountable, and employing over 50 students in paid jobs that prepare them for life after Whitman. We understand that ASWC is also facing losses, but other student organizations have not changed significantly or have seen their salaries increase. The ASCW has chosen to make unfair changes, placing the burden of the cuts on one organization: ours.
In short, we cannot afford to put the necessary amount of work into production Thread without being adequately remunerated for our work. The work that Thread has not changed, so we deserve to be compensated in the same way as our predecessors. We call on ASWC to provide us with the funding we need to fairly compensate our employees, in accordance with their stated goals. We are also asking for flexibility with respect to Article 5 of the ASWC Senate Rules, Section C, which states: “Once approved, salaries take effect the following fiscal year and cannot be adjusted prior to the process. budgeting for this fiscal year. ”
We, the members of the editorial board, pledge to serve the remainder of the semester. However, if we do not receive full compensation for the entire academic year, the entire board agrees to resign for the spring semester 2022.
Allison Cohen ’22, Editor-in-Chief
Renny Acheson ’22, Editor
Rosa Woolsey ’23, News editor
Abby Malzewski ’23, News editor
Lily Buller ’22, Illustration editor
Zac Bentz ’23, Campus Life Editor
Jaime Fields ’23, Campus Life Editor
Bhavesh Gulrajani ’23, Feature editor
Rachel Mari ’24, Humor editor
Vlad Voinich ’22, Editor-in-chief
Mia Graham ’24, Podcast editor
Kasey Moulton ’24, Podcast editor
Isabella Zito ’23, Production editor
Isabella Buchter ’23, Production editor
Koketso Masenya ’23, Web editor
Bridget Kennedy ’23, Photo editor
Scout Hutchinson ’22, Editor and Opinion Director