©2016 Michael Austin c/o theispot.com
Wellesley’s 65 residence assistants (RAs) and 15 house presidents (HPs) do crucial work for the community: They help open the College at the beginning of the school year, plan programs to build community in the residence halls, take the lead on roommate mediation and conflict resolution, and many other day-to-day tasks. When the 2016–17 academic year starts, for the first time ever, they will be paid for this important work.
“Having them there is absolutely essential. And because they are so essential, they need to be paid,” says Interim Dean of Students Adele Wolfson, who announced the approval of the student leadership stipend program late last fall. “We have students who would love to [be HPs or RAs], but can’t afford to because they need to make money. … I certainly hope that [the new stipend program] will increase the size and diversity of the pool of students wanting to do this work.”
The stipends will be paid to students in four installments over the year. The total amount of the stipend is $2,100 for first-time RAs, $2,200 for returning RAs, and $2,300 for HPs.
“The decision is the result of the culmination of many years of student advocacy, including nearly two of my own, but extending back several generations of hard-working student leaders before me,” says Suzanne Barth ’16, HP of Severance Hall and a member of the student/staff committee that proposed the stipend program. “The decision to compensate student leaders is nothing short of momentous for all Wellesley students, as the opportunity to be a student leader will now be extended to those who previously could not afford to do the job for free.”