The Office of Student Involvement recently opened applications for student leadership positions. Despite wide interest in orientation mentor positions, students have withheld from applying for the role due to its lack of compensation. In response, Residential Life has announced that residential assistants and house presidents will also be unpaid in solidarity with orientation mentors.
“We listened to the student body and heard their complaints. By offering no compensation for any res life positions, we hope to level the playing field in accordance with Wellesley’s egalitarian values,” residential life staff told The Snooze.
RAs and HPs are burdened with a multitude of responsibilities, including, but not limited to, executing floor programs, community engagement, and House Council, communicating the same fire safety policies to stubborn residents several times a week and teaching students who went to private high schools how to do laundry for the first time in their lives. Some students have begun to wonder if the position is even worth the time commitment without pay.
“I spent 40 hours this week as an RA. When I went to the main hallway to fill up my water bottle, all 60 residents on my floor walked out of their dorms and lined up behind me for a chance to vent about their classes and roommate issues,” said Wanda Wellesley ’24. “I am closer to dropping out of college than taking on this role unpaid.”
When asked about the policy change, Wendy Wellesley ’23 had a different opinion.
“I’d continue with being a house president even if it’s unpaid since it looks good on my resumé. Honestly, I think it’s fine because students get so many other amenities,” she said. “I can book a counseling session at the Stone Center for free, and I’ll get to talk through the burden of this unpaid emotional and physical labor in only three months from now.”
Students have started to speculate the reasoning behind offering no compensation for student leadership positions. Naï Eve-Hope ’26, an overly excited incoming student, commented on the Wellesley Class of 2026 Instagram, “I’m sure the administration is doing this for good reason. Maybe they’ll lower tuition.”
When approached for comment, a senior administrator excitedly told The Snooze that the Board of Trustees is also considering eliminating financial aid next year as the next phase in their plan to promote equality among all students.