New Student-Run Dickinson Workers Party

Bella Lapp ’26, Guest Writer

The Dickinson Workers Party, a newly-founded club, promises to advocate for better wages and working conditions for employees on campus. The organization has quickly garnered support from the student population, receiving over 100 sign-ups at the spring activities fair. 

“A few steps off campus, you could be making $3-5 more an hour than you would on campus,” said Jules Messitte ’26, co-founder of the club. “Many people approached us with issues on campus saying that it was unfair and they weren’t getting paid enough.” 

Messitte is one of three co-founders of the Workers Party club; he, Larry VanDyke ’26, and Nadja Duricko ’26 are all first-years at Dickinson. However, there are no elected officials in the club. Messitte noted that “the main idea of the club is not for it to be led by myself or the other co-founders; it’s just an organization where people can come together.” 

When asked about the inspiration for the Workers Party club, he said “It started when we went to the club fair this fall and we realized that there wasn’t any sort of representation for workers on campus.” 

The club had their first meeting last Thursday, which focused on group discussion of students’ experiences working on campus and generating ideas for the club. Attendees discussed the logistics of all student job opportunities on campus, budgeting and possible courses of action to improve wages and conditions. 

Other areas of interest for the club include improving the work-study program and encouraging budget disclosure from the Dickinson administration. 

The lowest possible wage for student workers on campus is $7.50 an hour, which is the starting rate for what Dickinson considers Category A jobs. The wage rate structure for student workers is divided into Category A, Category B, Category C, and Category D jobs, which are divided based on job duties, required experience, skill level and supervision. 

The federally mandated minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 U.S. dollars per hour. Many states have implemented their own state-wide minimum wage, but Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour. Compared to the national average minimum wage across all 50 states, which is $9.72, Pennsylvanians make about 25% less than the national average. 

Messitte said the process of creating the club was fairly simple. “We always received support from the Student Life Office.” He also wanted to emphasize that you do not have to be a worker on campus to join. “We want the club to be for everyone,” he said. Despite the name, inspired by the World Workers Party, the club has no official political affiliation, and their first meeting had a variety of voices from different political perspectives. 

The club does not have its own email yet; as of now, club communications are being handled through Messitte’s email. Meetings are expected to continue Thursdays at 6:00 PM. Questions about the club can be directed to [email protected].