The new academic employment period started, and with it came an increase in the minimum wage that will be paid to students working at UR on Sept. 5, 2004.

The minimum wage was previously set at $5.15 per hour and was raised to $5.65 per hour. “This year we have a little extra to spend,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jonathan Burdick said.

The extra money, however, was not really extra money at all. An accounting error caused reduced funding of the Federal Work-Study program at UR.

When the error was discovered the government immediately issued UR the back funds. Consequently, UR has a surplus of cash to spend on student wages this year.

A study that compared the wages paid at the UR with those paid at other, comparable schools found that the wages paid here were among the lowest.

“We were on the low side,” Burdick said. Talks soon arose about increasing the minimum wage.

The wage increase came as a joint assessment between the Office of Financial Aid and the Career Center.

“It was a decision between me and Burton Nadler,” Burdick said. Nadler is the Career Center Director.

The increase will not affect tuition rates at the UR since the extra funds come from the Federal Government.

The new minimum wage will continue to stay at $5.65 unless the state legislature mandates an increase. Burdick seemed excited that UR was receiving this extra money. “We’re doing as many great things as we can,” Burdick said.

New fire safety rules implemented on campus

In late August, a notice was sent to all UR residential students and their families about new fire safety rules that will be implemented in all on-campus residences.

Over the past several years, New York has enacted new legislation, created new inspection agencies and modified older fire safety regulations in order to better protect.

The state’s most recent inspection of UR has resulted in policy changes for on-campus housing.

Some of the changes include the elimination of George Foreman Grills, lightweight extention cords and upward-facing halogen and incandescent lamps from dorms.

Safety restrictions for candles, flammable liquids, paper decorative hangings and pine trees remain in place.

Students who have questions about the new regulations can consult their housing agreements or call the Office of Residential Life at x5-3166.

Reporting by Alex Pisarski and Kim Gorode.

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