Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained a quote with incorrect information regarding the University of Miami’s COVID-19 testing hours. Corrections were made on Wednesday, March 31 at 8:40 p.m. Click here for more information on the university’s COVID-19 testing process.
The University of Miami Student Government is considering creating a new seat on the Student Government Senate to represent student employees. Current student Senators Sydney Stropes, a sophomore majoring in nursing and religion, Zoe Fundora, a sophomore majoring in political science and history and Louisa Khan, a sophomore majoring in music and political science, first conceived the addition, hoping to prevent the mistreatment of UM’s student employees through representation.
“This year there have been multiple instances of student employees not feeling satisfied with various aspects of their employment or how their duties shifted with the pandemic,” said Stropes.
On March 22, a survey was emailed out to current student employees of the university to gauge their interest in the new seat.
“We launched this survey due to interest previously expressed to the senate from student employees on campus,” said Khan. Students participating in the survey are given the opportunity to enter a giveaway.
Stropes said that the role of a student senator is “to serve and represent the ideas, wishes and the needs of students within the Senate of Student Government.” Each senator is elected to represent their constituency in the creation of new bills and other legislative matters.
Sophomore biomedical engineering major Joseph Cherubin said he believes that the seat will make the university a more equitable place for student employees like him.
“More representation for student employees can only benefit my experience working on campus,” said Cherubin, who works as a student shift supervisor at several computer labs.
Stropes, who works in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, first conceived the idea when considering the unique needs and concerns of student employees, including, for example, when and why they receive pay raises.
Tiara Ranson, a junior majoring in global health and sociology, said that as a student employee in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, she has had to juggle multiple commitments without adequate support from the university.
“We are expected to take on a regular student’s workload in addition to our job and our extracurriculars,” Ranson said.
Fundora said that the seat’s term will last through an entire election cycle, but applicants must be student employees. So far, Senators Stropes, Fundora and Khan have received survey responses from 25 percent of the student employee population and are confident that there will be enough responses to decide whether or not the seat will be added.
Featured photo by Jared Lennon.