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Resnet Consultants to Be Paid as UROP Students; Hourly Pay to Begin

By Kyle Young
Staff Reporter

Beginning this fall, undergraduates working for Information Systems as residential computing consultants will be paid through the Undergraduate Research Oppor-tunities Program on an hourly basis.

The change will mean that RCCs will now have to complete and submit the UROP proposals required of all UROP students and will no longer be paid a flat weekly salary. The nature of the RCC job itself is not changing.

UROP workers are given a special employee benefit rate making them less costly to hire than normal employees. Employee benefits include costs like health and educational benefits, which UROP workers do not receive.

Last year, an additional 39 percent was charged to departments in addition to wages for regular employee benefits. For UROPs, the rate is only 6.5 percent.

Since graduate students can not be UROP workers, graduate RCCs will be paid as MIT employees on an hourly basis, said Residential Computing Supervisor Thomas J. Lane Jr.

Although undergraduate consultants have only recently been reclassified as UROPs, other undergraduate students working for IS have already been considered UROPs. This past spring, undergraduates working for the Computing Helpdesk began to receive pay as a UROP.

Seth A. Perlman '97, an RCC for Bexley Hall, explained that in many respects, the work remains the same as in the past, aside from the new filing of formal UROP proposals each term and the submission evaluations of their UROP work at the end of the term.

The deadline for UROP proposal submissions is this Friday for direct funding; for volunteer, credit, or supervisor funding, the deadline is October 31. RCCs fall under the supervisor funding deadline.

Grad students not in UROP

Daniel F. Gruhl G, a graduate consultant for Edgerton House, was relieved that he would not have to file a formal UROP proposal as the undergraduate students would. He felt that although the number of installations that a RCC makes per week would give some indication of the hours a consultant worked, each RCC will be left on the honor system to report the exact hours. Counting hours will be a new task for both the students and IS, he said.

Currently each undergraduate dormitory has two or three RCCs while most graduate student dormitories have one. The main responsibilities of RCCs are to connect residents' personal computers onto the residential network. RCCs also help answer general network questions and problems that arise.

Although connecting the dormitory computers to the MIT network requires some work, the work is largely unsupervised.

The RCC team meets weekly to discuss problems that they encountered during the week. Beginning this term, the student consultants will also make presentations about the different aspects of networking and protocols. This continued training adds to the initial training required of new consultants.