EDITORIAL: Raise of minimum wage shows promise
Rutgers' administration hears what its students are saying
All Americans technically have the ability to take hold of the American Dream, but it is no secret that some are in a better position to do so than others. Juggling school, work and resume boosters with the aim of future success can be a struggle, especially given the cost of attaining a degree in this day and age, and the University knows this. This is why effective Jan. 1, the Rutgers administration raised the minimum wage for student workers from $8.44 to $11 an hour — an approximately 30 percent increase. University President Robert L. Barchi said in an email sent out before winter break that he has, “made it a goal to put as much of Rutgers’ revenues back into the academic mission as possible, and financial assistance in all forms for students is at the top of my list.” Rutgers has more than 13,000 student workers, many of whom have taken out student loans to pay for school on top of their other miscellaneous expenses, such as food, fuel for their cars and rent. “Please know that we will always be seeking new ways to support you on your journey toward a Rutgers degree," Barchi said. As students, knowing that the University administration has our back is important and comforting.
Say what you'd like about Rutgers’ administration, but as of late it has become increasingly evident that supporting and uplifting its students is Old Queens’ No. 1 priority. The University has been working to and give us better facilities, while also building upon our academic prestigiousness. These things are meant to enhance the student experience on all three campuses and set the student body up for the success that we all dream of.
The administration has begun taking productive steps to make our journeys to class less of a headache through the Transportation Master Plan. Adjustments to the roads and the addition of bike lanes with the aim of alleviating traffic. New buses have been added to Rutgers’ fleet, enhancing the school’s mass transportation capabilities and ultimately making students’ lives at least a little bit easier.
Tuition has been kept impressively low, going up less than 2 percent each year, while at the same time the school itself continues to grow — which is better than many universities can say for themselves. By accepting more out-of-state students who can afford the tuition costs, the University is able to grant more aid to those in need coming from New Jersey. Although a bit controversial, the University has been able to alleviate more of its students financial burdens by finding ways to retain more of its endowment funds.
Along with all of the aforementioned, news of the minimum wage increase makes it quite clear that the administration truly puts its students first. On top of all of the steps that have been taken to mitigate students’ financial burdens, the University’s principles ensure a compassionate learning environment. Rutgers’ being committed to facilitating a community that encourages care for others, fostering inclusivity and understanding and creating a supportive and productive learning environment. Above all, it is encouraging to know that the administration hears its students. Student workers had been calling for an increase in pay to a living wage, and the University has answered that call. The authority at Rutgers zealously supports its students and maintains the capacity for hearing what we have to say, giving us great hope for the future of ourselves and our school.
The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 149th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.