CAs report worker shortage

Feven Zewdu

Augustana encountered a problem that began during J-term and the beginning of spring semester: they didn’t have enough Community Advisors (CAs) to cover all of the residence halls equally, according to sophomore CAs Emmeline Kenealy and Nick Weilbaker. 

A CA is a student held position that is in charge of a certain number of students in a resident hall. Every residential hall has a CA according to the number of students that live in the buildings. 

During school breaks, CAs are not required to stay on campus to help with students. This resulted in some CAs having to work more hours than usual during J-term, according to Weilbaker. In addition, Kenealy added that several CAs resigned, which increased the CA shortage.

Kenealy said the residential halls that were most impacted by this shortage were the first year residential halls, Seminary and Andreen.

Kenealy, an Andreen CA, said that there was a lack of CAs over J-term and that it was very noticeable. 

“Andreen Community Advisors, due to the shortage, had to work double the amount of shifts as Community Advisors in Westerlin over J-term,” Kenealy said. “This was impactful because J-term is a lot of work.” 

CAs are paid a stipend, unlike most other Augustana student employees. According to Director of Residential Life Chris Beyer, the hours that students work may vary, but the wage is estimated at 10-15 hours a week.

According to Kenealy, during J-term and J-term break, students were working more hours due to the shortage and they were not getting paid for the added hours because of the stipend. 

“We were told, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘You guys are doing a great job,’” Kenealy said. 

Weilbaker, a CA in Seminary, said he faced a heavier workload during the CA shortage.

“I was the only CA in Seminary for all of J-term and all of February,” Weilbaker said.

When Weilbaker brought this issue to his officials, he was told that there is a stipend and there is no extra compensation, even if students were working overtime. 

Beyer said the stipend is a set amount and working hour irregularities may occur due to the number of residents in the building. 

“Each CA should have roughly the same amount of duties regardless of which area they are in, but it is not always going to be perfectly equal,” Beyer said.

Even though there is no additional payment for the CAs that worked through the shortage, Weilbaker said area coordinators and residential assistants were helpful and supportive. 

“Our bosses were there for us. My resident director was there for me, there to talk and always there for our mental health,” Weilbaker said. 

Emma Kidane, a sophomore at Augustana, has been an alternate CA for all of fall semester and J-term. This position entails stepping in when there are no CA available. 

“Being an alternate CA means you are one of the choices if there’s an open position if CAs… resign,” Kidane said. 

However, Kidane said she was not utilized during the CA shortage. 

According to Beyer, at this time, all CA positions have been filled, and residential life is confident that as issues of CA shortages arise, they will be able to fill the open positions quickly.