Fun Star: Indentured servitude programs help pay tuition
This article is a work of satire, and is not intended to be taken seriously in any way. Any resemblance to actual events or real people is purely coincidental, and should not be regarded with any degree of seriousness.
Some students take on several part time jobs to pay for tuition while others make biweekly appointments to sell their plasma, but for students who don’t have reliable transportation or any other option, the university’s Indentured Servitude Program takes applicants every semester.
The Indentured Servitude Program only takes students with high financial need and offers a variety of positions depending on the needs of the student in question. Graduate students tend to become “Teaching Assistants” while undergraduates more frequently become some form of “Student Assistant.” One of the more popular sections of the program, dubbed “The Department of Residence Life,” offers students housing and pay in exchange for labor.
“Becoming a resident assistant is probably your best option,” said Maya Tonomy, a junior and resident assistant at UAF. “That way you don’t have to worry about paying more for living in the dorms. All you really have to do is keep to your contract and work between classes, at events and whenever you’re in the public eye. Any time the university photographers point a camera at you you have to smile for the promotional material.”
On the subject of whether or not resident assistants are ever allowed to stop working, Tonomy smiled and declined to comment, while a flash went off over her shoulder.
Students who elect to enter the Indentured Servitude Program may retain their positions or be re-interviewed depending on the department involved. Students who enjoy the benefits can end up staying in the program for the duration of their time at UAF.
“I’ve been in the program since I was a freshman,” said Leigh Mann, a graduate student and teaching assistant with the School of Education. “Indentured servitude is kind of a lifestyle, as far as I’m concerned. The more I go to school, the more they charge me, the more loans I take, the more I need money. I’ve lived here, I work here, I’ll become a teacher here, and I’ll probably die here.”
Students attempting to leave the program have some critique to offer. While the Indentured Servitude Program works on campus, graduation or withdrawal from the program is reportedly far more difficult than entering. The process of leaving the program involves an extensive series of trials including finding a job off campus, renting an apartment with no renter’s history, buying a car with no credit score, and locating your soul after resignation.
“Once you’ve got the job, part of your acceptance paperwork involves signing your immortal soul over to UAF,” said former Resident Assistant Missy Rable. “But getting that back after months or years of handling this kind of work is a long process. The admins don’t really want to give it up. I’m still dealing with all the red tape and I only worked here for a semester.”