Ball State group petitions to raise campus wages.

MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) -- Indiana is one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to minimum wage. At $7.25 per hour, many people struggle to make ends meet and can’t survive off of even two or three jobs. States like Illinois and California have taken steps to raise their minimum wages to $15 per hour to allow their residents to be able to afford the cost of living.

For college students, the cost of living skyrockets when you add together tuition, rent, groceries, and other costs. And with full class schedules, many students don’t have time for a full-time job.

Most of Ball State’s on-campus student employment pays the state minimum wage and has limited hours for students due to scheduling and budget cuts. 

Students like Clayton LeCain Guffey say they are struggling to get by.

“Even with a full-time position here over the summer, it still wasn’t enough money to pay my rent and everything.”

LeCain Guffey, who lives in Ball State’s Scheidler apartments had to take up another job at TJ Maxx in order to support himself.

“It upsets me that I can’t afford school housing that the school provides with my school-provided job,” he said. 

Other students, like senior Suzan Harris who came to Ball State on full-ride scholarships, struggle to get by on-campus jobs alone. Harris has two jobs on campus and 5 other jobs off-campus. 

“Over two weeks working twenty hours, the max that I can, I usually get about $170,” she said. Harris lives in an apartment off-campus where rent is $575 a month. “In a month I couldn’t even pay my rent let alone groceries, things for my car, or other fun activities,” she said.

The Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) at Ball State noticed students’ issues with their wages and decided to make a campus-wide wage increase one of their main platforms this semester.

“I’ve done a lot of research and we have found out from other campuses that their minimum wages range from $10 to $15 an hour,” said YDSA member Andrew Haines. 

YDSA has spread a petition to students across campus in support of raising the minimum wage for student employment to at least $9 per hour. Many students have eagerly signed the petition.

“I looked into it more and read what they had to say and I agreed with it so I felt like I needed to spread their message,” LeCain Guffey said.

Ball State Democrats and Republicans alike say they need a raise and are taking action to make that happen. 

NewsLink Indiana reached out to Ball State for comment and didn’t receive any word from the University about the petition.

Contact Madeline Kerr with comments at makerr@bsu.edu or on Twitter @MadelineAKerr 

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