ASNMSU Senate addresses “hostile work environment” for NMSU resident assistants
On April 22, the 64th Senate of Associate Students at New Mexico State University passed Resolution 10, known as “Regarding the Working Conditions and Salary of the Housing Department at the University of New Mexico. ‘State of New Mexico’.
This resolution dealt with various working conditions regarding equal pay, person-to-person contacts between resident assistants and residents and the lack of professional communication between resident directors and resident assistants.
Amy Lucero, Senator-Author and Former Resident Assistant, described some of the essential functions of the Resident Assistant position at NMSU. Those duties, Lucero said, include performing health and safety checks, confirming work orders, and responding to lockdown calls.
On November 10, 2020, the deputy directors of the NMSU housing department announced that resident assistants would be required to make regular in-person recordings with residents several times during the semester, according to Res. ten.
After the in-person check-ins, the resident assistants are required to file detailed interaction logs. According to Lucero, some resident assistants felt that this new employment requirement would constitute a serious invasion of the privacy of their residents.
According to Lucero, a big concern on the part of several resident assistants was that they felt the recordings were more harmful than beneficial to students living on campus and that there were “alternative motives” on the part. of Housing by forcing these records.
“You can’t really link, as they claim these records would promote whenever there is some alternate grounds behind it and you put those residents’ personal information in a form, every time after you do. “Said Lucero.
In addition, Lucero said the presence of a pandemic while conducting these recordings presented another issue, which she said resident assistants must continually be careful of when interacting with residents. Resident assistants were denied requests for virtual recordings by administrative directors after resident assistants voiced health and safety concerns.
âWhenever RA expressed obvious concerns about its safety and the safety of the residents, they were completely shut down and told that they could not do check-ins by text, phone or Zoom, if that’s what. happens. they felt comfortable doing it, âLucero said.
Another major concern of Res. 10 dealt with financial compensation and the different workloads that residents are assigned to, depending on whether they work in a freshman room or in an apartment-style room.
Resident assistants in family living communities and apartments at NMSU typically have around 20 to 40 more residents than the resident assistants In first year housing but receive the same fortnightly salary of $ 175 and less than half of the meal plan scans, according to Lucero.
Another problem Res. Non-ad hoc notifications of employment status are discussed. At the April 22 meeting, the RAs still had not been informed of their potential rehiring when the resident assistants were informed earlier in the semester that they will know their employment status for next year by March. .
“Another issue with RAs currently, those who applied for rehiring for the 2021-2022 school year, were still not informed of their employment status after an initial date of March 19 was provided by deputy administrative directors, âLucero said.
Lucero described the hostile working conditions of the current resident assistants. She said there are instances where administrative assistant directors of housing remind resident assistants that they are easily replaceable.
âRecently, a deputy administrative director made a few screams of RA, and rather humiliated them in front of all his staff, which is not at all correct,â Lucero said.
Lucero said his reason for writing Res. 10 was a request from other resident assistants to make this ill-treatment public.
âI wanted to bring this issue to light because I think Housing knows that students don’t really know about RAs and that hundreds of students apply for these positions every year. It just allows them to treat their current RA horribly, âLucero said.
During the meeting, several senators from ASNMSU expressed their support for Res. ten.
“I am also an RA”, the senator of the ASNMSU, Andrea Salas mentionned. “It [Lucero] has been very active in trying to get all of AR’s opinions and everyone’s voice in this resolution. She has also been very active in advocating for everyone and trying to get their complaints, suggestions and solutions on this matter.
Res. 10 states this ASNMSU requests NMSU slot for:
- Iimmediately stop regular in-person check-ins required.
- VScreate a sliding pay scale based on the number of residents of at least $ 175.
- NOTnotify Ras their professional situation for the 2021-2022 school year on April 30, 2021.
- For Housing to take into account future concerns Ras more seriously with a collaborative and professional approach when changing roles and expectations of RAswe.
- For Accommodation to deal with the hostile working environment created by the administrative staff members of the department and resolve them with the Department of Human Resources Services of the NMSU.
The Round Up contacted several student members of the Residential Hall Association of NMSU. All members contacted refused to comment on the situation. The Round Up also contacted Ophelia Watkins, director of auxiliary operations, for an interview before and after the passage of resolution 10, but she was not available.