We are delighted with Brown’s decision to begin funding student research for committees this semester. Students serving on the Mental Health Community Council and Title IX Oversight and Advisory Board will start a pilot program for research funding, and the students serving on those committees will receive an hourly wage for any projects they take on. This new system will have many advantages, including encouraging students to become more active in University committees and providing positions for students to gain paid experience doing research on campus.
Brown, like all selective colleges, tends to attract motivated students who are inclined to take an active role in changing the world around them, including the school, for the better. While this is great for the University as a whole, and we all benefit from each other’s work, it can create strain for students who are stretching themselves thin while attempting to balance classes with activism and possibly a necessary part-time job. Hopefully, the chance to take on paid research work and receive compensation will help lighten this load.
Students doing research for committees do work that directly benefits Brown; they are essential to Brown’s functioning. For example, students such as Will Furuyama ‘15 and Katie Byron ‘15, who interviewed individuals who went through the Title IX process and reported their findings to the Sexual Assault Task Force, provided the University with information vital to its operations.
It is also important to note that hiring students to conduct this research is beneficial to the school as well. Students are often the best people to be conducting research on other students, as they have access to information and perspectives that outsiders might not. Also, paying students to do so will probably attract even more applicants for positions on the committees, allowing Brown to be even more selective in who they choose. All in all, Brown’s decision to pilot compensating students for this work will be good for everyone.
Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board: its editors, Emma Axelrod ’18 and Emma Jerzyk ’17, and its members, Eben Blake ’17 and Leeron Lempel ’19. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.