Student workers will receive $15 per hour during the 2018-2019 school year, but after reading the fine print of the new payment plan, students learned that their payments would come as campus cash.
Gallatin junior Jeane Mortenson, an activist with the Fight for Fifteen movement, was part of the group that discovered this loophole, but said she should have expected this from the school.
“The announcement surprised all of us, and I think it makes more sense now that we read the fine print,” Mortenson said. “While we are receiving better compensation for our work, Campus Cash is so limiting. It’s great for a last-minute meal without being on the meal plan, but what about saving for the future? Or for tuition, rent, bills and loans?”
Mortenson said the Fight for Fifteen must escalate to not only reveal the school’s fraudulent practices but to also ensure students get paid $15 in actual currency per hour. She said spreading awareness of this new policy is crucial for present and prospective student workers.
NYU spokesperson Cecil Jacobs said this decision came with the students’ best interest in mind. After speaking with Andrew Hamilton multiple times about this issue, Jacobs said they agreed this change would not only make on-campus jobs more appealing, but it would also attract higher quality applicants.
“Those who understand the logic in receiving Campus Cash as compensation are the kind of applicants we are looking for,” Jacobs said. “As a university, we unanimously agreed that it was a positive change. It also fits the hipster image of the school. This campus cash method ensures that students don’t spend their money on alcohol or illicit drugs. And speaking for myself, as a parent of three children, I would certainly like this for them in the future.”
Jacobs said Hamilton presented this idea at one of the first few Budget Office meetings regarding the Fight for Fifteen and that Hamilton’s presentation demonstrated his ingenuity — a necessary skill to lead this global university.
Budget Office Chair Horace Gilmer said the entire office was present for the decision and that they discussed the pros and cons of this payment method for weeks before finalizing the plan.
“We weren’t hiding anything, and everyone can see that this is a mutually beneficial relationship between the student and university,” Gilmer said. “When we gathered to discuss this issue, we chose campus cash payments, because it is both convenient and reliable for the students. And with all the electronic features within NYU Home, students and the university can easily track the money.”
He said the feedback from random samples of NYU families, students and faculty has been positive, but due to university policies, he could not disclose the names of anybody within the randomly tested groups.
“Everything we do is with the students’ best interest in mind,” Gilmer said. “We are excited to be the first private American university to get our minimum wage to $15 and will open up this conversation during our next university-wide forum.”
Email Diamond Naga Siu at [email protected] This report has been a part of our special April 1 parody coverage. Check back next week when we get back to business.