EDITORIAL: Change still needed with co-curricular organizations


By Editorial Board

At issue: Student workload increases

Our take: Don’t take advantage of us

Student organizations are a huge aspect of Emerson culture. And the system was pretty loose. For example, at the Beacon, if you contributed on a regular basis and worked in the publication, you could earn a non-tuition credit. Now, after a process that took over a year, co-curricular organizations’ requirements make them feel more like class.

We coasted along in this weird space of a credit that wasn’t a class and evidently wasn’t sustainable. We understand where the need for change came from—we don’t mind working hard. But we think we can make more changes. So we, the editorial board, vouch for an eight-credit system to reward our efforts throughout our Emerson careers.

The committee behind the change included members of Student Engagement and Leadership, Academic Advising, Student Government Association, and student leaders. Feedback from course evaluations and focus groups inspired the restyling. The committee aims to create a process that it lacked. 

As it stands, students in co-curriculars can only earn up to four non-tuition credits. Even through these changes and the total restructuring of these organizations, the four-credit system endures. Many student leaders already received four credits despite increased workloads and positions. We put in more work, more effort, more energy, and remain uncompensated. We continue without pay, credit, or remunerative acknowledgement from the administration. Instead, despite the college consisting of mainly student-run co-curriculars, a bureaucratic force controls us. 

If students acclimate to working for less reward, they may fall for similar circumstances, such as unpaid internships. Emerson doesn’t even pay orientation leaders for their efforts. This leads students to accept bureaucratic red tape that can exploit their labor.As young adults, students must learn that their services and efforts deserve compensation in order to seek fulfilling jobs.