In our sociology class, we learned that nearly 35 percent of all full-time workers in the state of Mississippi make less than $30,000 a year, compared with 25 percent of full-time workers across the United States.
This is why Ole Miss needs a living wage. A living wage produces an income high enough to provide a normal standard of living. Though the university’s own minimum wage of $10.10 per hour is still significantly higher than the federal minimum wage, it still guarantees poverty for individuals who work full-time year-round and have dependents to care for.
The truth is clear: poverty does not pay.
Every member of our university family is expected to live by the Creed. Each member vows to believe in the respect and dignity of each person and fairness and civility as they uphold these values and encourage others to follow his or her example. It is impossible to expect students, staff and faculty to uphold these values when the university does not do so itself.
Paying university employees wages that do not guarantee financial stability and that put workers at risk of falling under the poverty line does not exemplify the standards of our Creed.
A living wage on our campus will allow full-time workers to provide for themselves and their dependents.
As a family, the university needs to help those who help us.
Haley Myatt is sophomore journalism major from Abernathy, Texas, and Taylor Delaney is a senior social work major from Metuchen, New Jersey.