The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Bucknell RAs submitted petition announcing their union

Over 77% of Bucknell’s Resident Advisors (RAs) submitted a petition on March 4 to the National Labor Relations Board and Bucknell’s Acting Co-Presidents Margot Vigeant and Scott Rosevear announcing the formation of their union with OPEIU Local 153 and demanding the University voluntary recognizes their union.

The OPEIU press release cited insufficient financial compensation, reduction of financial aid for some RAs, lack of coverage for RAs’ meal plans despite past requests, demanding hours, lack of transparency, unpaid training, and more as causes of their need for unionization. 

Currently, RAs are compensated through the cost of their room being covered by the university and a 100-dollar stipend at the end of each semester if they remain in good standing. 

“Every RA on campus dedicates hundreds of hours each semester to meetings, training, community-building events, and other resident situations that occur at all hours of the day and night,” stated RA Grace Garvey ’25. “This job, while an important one, is underappreciated and underpaid by the university.”

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“The lack of transparency in the location assignments for RAs and the sudden added load to our duties has been especially frustrating,” added RA Hannah Kim ’25. “I am both comforted and disturbed by the fact that so many RAs share similar sentiments. This goes to show that Residential Education does not prioritize nor care for its employees as they say they do.”

There are currently 110 students serving as RAs on campus, all undergraduate students hired to live in the dorms and support the health and safety of between roughly 15-85 other students, depending on housing placement, with nearly 24/7 available services. 

Outside of the academic year, RAs attend over 90 hours of training for which they are not directly compensated. During the school year, RAs are expected to work around 20 hours a week, with time spent doing rounds, creating bulletin boards, planning and executing hall programming, attending staff meetings, and dealing with residents’ challenges or conflicts if/as they arise. 

According to the Residential Education website, “RAs serve as a role model, resource and referral agent, advocate, policy enforcer, programmer and leader for residents in their assigned area.” 

“RAs deserve compensation that matches the importance of the job we perform,” said Garvey. “It is vitally important that the RAs of Bucknell come together so that our voices can be heard and our needs can be met.”

As of now, the University has not formally recognized the union, but has provided a statement: “We received the students’ notice of petition and are reviewing it with appropriate University offices. We respect the action taken by our students.”

For more information and updates about Bucknell RAs’ unionization effort, follow @bucknellraunion on Instagram. 

Bucknell RAs are part of a growing movement of Resident Advisers to organize a union with OPEIU Local 153, joining RAs at Wesleyan, Barnard, Fordham, UPenn, and Tufts who have all unionized in the past few years. Bucknell’s RA Union cited other OPEIU 153 RA unions’ success with winning a full room, full meal plan, and stipend for RA union members as a reason to have an RA union on this campus. 

OPEIU Local 153 is the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut chapter of the Office and Professional Employees International Union. Local 153 is a union of more than 103,000 employees in fields such as social services, legal aid, higher education, healthcare, hotels, credit unions, and sports facilities. 

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Dora Kreitzer, Editor-in-Chief

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