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Student residential staff to be paid $11,400 starting next fall

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All student residential staff will be paid a $11,400 stipend starting fall 2020, the Office of Student Affairs announced on Tuesday. 

That amount is a $925 decrease from this year’s residential assistant (RA) stipend, but an increase of thousands of dollars from current stipend rates for specialized staff, such as peer health educators (PHEs) and resident computer consultants (RCCs). Staff positions will also be consolidated into just two distinct roles: RA and ethnic theme associate (ETA). 

To pay for the new stipends — while increasing the total number of student staff from 496 to 508 — the University has identified $2.3 million in additional funding, according to an email sent to current residential fellows (RFs) and student staff by Vice Provosts Susie Brubaker-Cole, Harry Elam and Tim Warner. The funding comes from a variety of sources, including the Provost, Vaden Health Center, Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE) and money initially intended for a professional staff position in Residential Education. 

“As we acknowledged in our previous email, the on-going cost of raising the pay for 250 of our 500 student staff is substantial,” the Vice Provosts wrote. “If we had not been able to identify additional funding sources, we would have had to move all student staff to $8,500, which did not appropriately align with the work and responsibility included in the roles.”

The University will also maintain or decrease current student-to-staff ratios, according to the announcement. Frosh dorms will have one student staff member for every 15 students, while non-Row upperclass dorms will have one student staff member for every 20 students. Row houses will continue to have even lower ratios. 

The changes in student pay and staffing levels, initially announced in broad terms last month, are in line with recommendations from the ResX task force. They come in the wake of student activism for pay equity for specialized residential staff. Last year, petitions to increase pay for Ethnic Theme Associates (ETAs) and Peer Health Educators received hundreds of signatures.

While roles other than ETA will be absorbed into RA positions, on the Row, positions such as financial manager and kitchen manager will continue informally, according to the email sent to staff.

Row houses with academic themes will continue at current staffing levels, and academic theme dorms with RFs will receive one additional staff member to manage the theme. The Crothers Global Studies program, the only current RF-staffed academic theme house with ATAs, will be granted a one-year deferral to phase out the official ATA role. 

Contact Erin Woo at erinkwoo ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Erin Woo '21 is a Managing Editor of News. A communications major and creative writing minor, she plans to pursue a career in journalism. She has also reported for The Mercury News and WNYC. Contact her at erinkwoo 'at' stanford.edu.