I was sorely disappointed to read your article covering the formation of the new $30 million Frank G. Zarb School of Business building, especially directly after the publication of your article covering the dismal minimum wage for on-campus employees. Are Hofstra administrators so eager to present a pristine and modern image to the public, replete with glimmering new administrative buildings for the singular Business Department, that they decide it is ethical to neglect the hundreds of students who work on campus for less than the state minimum wage? Especially under the watchful eye of an immensely rich university president, one of the highest-earning in the country, it is shameful to see innumerable students, and many of my peers, struggle to earn a livable wage while attending Hofstra. Professor John Krapp of the Comparative Literature Department here at Hofstra once told my class, “If an employer is paying you the minimum wage, it means that they would be paying you less, if they could.” Does Hofstra not respect their students enough to provide them with a livable wage?
What reasoning is there to persuade students to seek employment on-campus? Besides the draw of a Federal Work Study (FWS), the only upside is convenience. In this case, it is hardly more convenient to pursue employment at Hofstra for an ostensible $7.25 per hour when employment at any business just a few minutes’ walk down Hempstead Turnpike is guaranteed to be $10 per hour minimum.
Maybe to recover from the stress of being unable to pay bills on time, we should seek mental health services at the Saltzman Center, where appointments with therapists (who are often merely Hofstra graduate students) are free … until you reach three appointments. After which, they cost $30 each. According to research from the American Psychological Association, in regards to a study conducted by the American College Health Association, “45.6 percent of students surveyed reported feeling that things were hopeless and 30.7 percent reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function during the past 12 months.” Mental health be damned in an institution which utterly necessitates a new but academically unnecessary building.
Could Hofstra not be using this $30 million elsewhere? Could this $30 million not be used to provide a livable wage for students already struggling with overpriced tuition, or even better mental health services for those who need it (which, statistically, is at least a third of us)? After the erection of the new Zarb Business School building, maybe we will have something pretty, shiny and new to gaze at while we skip eating because we can’t afford lunch.
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