Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Student workers drained dry on the Day of Giving

Victoria Campbell

Augustana completed its annual Day of Giving on March 6, 2024. This event generated a hefty end total of $332,530, yet student workers still receive below minimum wage.

Augustana should give student workers a fair wage using the funds it raises.

The Day of Giving is a designated time to raise money for the college. One of the bigger areas for donations is the Augustana Fund, which supports scholarships, athletic and academic enrichments and extracurricular improvements.

Donors also have the option to “Take Your Pick!” and donate to a specific academic department or area of their choice.

It is important to keep in mind that while the college boasts the total monetary gain, it does not disclose the specifics of where the funds is designated.

However, on the Augustana Day of Giving page, there is an exception to the “Take Your Pick” rule.

At the bottom of the page, it says that any donations that are matched by another donor or company will go toward the Augustana Fund regardless of specification.

While the Day of Giving is closed until next year, donations are accepted year-round.

Through the giving page on Augustana’s website, anyone is welcome and encouraged to donate to a specific area, including scholarships, building projects, academic departments and programs, athletics, music, Greek life, general endowment and the Augustana Fund.

The Augustana Fund probably has the largest share of donations of any other in the college. It is described as supporting the three priority areas, one of which is the area of greatest need.

Student wages should be considered in the greatest need category.

Student workers still receive less than minimum wage, despite the college boasting substantial monetary gain.

It is not fair to students that Augustana inherits hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations every year but cannot provide students with the minimum wage they could get elsewhere.

Many students work on campus for convenience, but they would be better off trying to get a local job to get better pay. Working off-campus is also not an option for international students.

The Augustana Student Worker Alliance is a labor union fighting for fair wages of on-campus student employees in all departments.

After the Day of Giving, @AugieUnion posted on Instagram saying, “Donations are great, but can we focus that money on REAL student issues?”

It is discouraging for student workers to see that Augustana has an increase in money, raises tuition every year, but does not pay students more.

As of January 1, 2024, Illinois minimum wage was raised to $14 per hour, but Augustana student workers only get $10 per hour.

With the Augustana policies that domestic students can only work up to 10 hours per week, and international students up to 20 hours per week, students are not able to earn a healthy amount.

If Augustana is going to continually promote the amount of donation money given to the college, it is time that it takes the necessary steps to give students what they need: a fair wage.

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