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The Dartmouth
April 14, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Undergraduate Advisors to unionize under Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth

An open letter on the SWCD’s website outlined several demands, including increased financial compensation and mental health training.

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On Jan. 25, Dartmouth Undergraduate Advisors announced their intention to unionize in an open letter on the Student Worker Collective at Dartmouth’s website. The letter, which is addressed to the Office of Residential Life, leadership and other members of the Dartmouth community, arrives after several UGAs shared concerns over the fall term about inadequate training and minimal financial compensation for their role.

The letter outlines four demands related to compensation, training, the UGA hiring process and the workplace. The first demand proposes a compensation model that would provide room and board credit for all UGAs during the academic year, increase their stipend, implement a “raise structure depending on tuition increase,” guarantee full benefits irrespective of financial aid packages and a stipend for fall training, the letter stated.

The second demand seeks to offer UGAs with more training on mental health, sexual assault and other challenging situations, such as bias incidents. In addition, the letter demands the College provide “updated, meaningful, comprehensively researched, verified resources” on reproductive health, food insecurity and housing insecurity.

The third demand stipulates the elimination of rehiring discrepancies between house communities and an “accessible and comprehensive job description” given with the UGA job offer. The fourth demand seeks increased communication between house communities, assistant directors and UGAs and at least one open upper-management meeting, so UGAs can be “involved in higher-level decision making.” 

College spokesperson Jana Barnello declined to comment on the matter. 

The College has seen multiple unionization efforts over the past two years. The SWCD unanimously won their unionization vote in March 2022, and the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth successfully unionized in April 2023. In June 2023, the Dartmouth College Library Workers Union voted to join Council 93 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.