University paying students to be 'Social Justice Advocates'

The University of Arizona is paying students $10 per hour to assume the responsibilities of “Social Justice Advocates.”

According to an online job description, Social Justice Advocates, or SJAs for short, “will be responsible for instituting monthly programmatic efforts within the residence halls that focus specifically on social justice issues,” such as setting up “bulletin boards in the halls” and hosting “social justice modules once a month for the RAs.”

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Successful applicants will be expected to “report any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff” in addition to hosting bi-semesterly “Real Talks” with dorm residents.

“The position also aims to increase understanding of one’s own self through critical reflection of power and privilege, identity and intersectionality, systems of socialization, cultural competency, and allyship as they pertain to the acknowledgement, understanding, and acceptance of differences,” the job description elaborates, noting that the ultimate goal of the position is to “increase a student staff member’s ability to openly lead conversations, discuss differences, and confront diversely insensitive behavior.”

Notably, SJAs are paid an hourly rate of $10, and are expected to work an average of 15 hours per week, meaning students who fill the position can expect to make about $150 per week for promoting “inclusive communities through positive interactions.”

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“The Social Justice Advocates Position is one that is grounded in the multicultural competency framework and allows student staff to gain the awareness, knowledge, and skills necessary to work effectively with students and residents across cultures and identities,” the job posting explains, adding that applicants should have “an understanding of social identity groups, experiences, histories, and practices as it relates to everyday life.”

The SJA program is a function of the “Social Justice Resource Center,” a subsidiary of the Residence Life department that aims to create “safe and inclusive settings for all students and staff” by “fostering social justice through respect, equity, and compassion.”

The Center also provides another service called “Advocates Coming Together” for students “passionate about social justice and making change” to “educate” their classmates about inclusivity.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Arizona for comment on the matter, and is currently awaiting a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski