Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Creative Loafing

With my ears to the ground of college rumblings, this in from my friend that goes to Washington University in St. Louis (quote from Associated Press):

Washington University students taking part
in the ninth day of a sit-in seeking higher
pay for the university's contract workers
were notified Tuesday by the school that they
were violating the school's judicial code.

In reaction to their apparent violation 15 students unplugged the vending machines and began a hunger strike. The school has conceded $500,000 to help raise wages, but the students' research suggests they would need to commit something like $2.4 million.

Breaking generational stereotypes, youngsters across the nation have combined sympathy with activism to increase wages for university employees. Just last week, Georgetown students thanked the janitors for cleaning the puke out of the water fountains by staging their own sit-in/hunger strike. In 2001, Harvard students vowed to skip classes for a few days (but still get A's) to raise hourly wages. Both campaigns were successful in getting better pay for employees.

Its funny that these types of movements are occurring at schools with the highest tuitions in the country (all around $30,000). How are these funds being managed you wonder, or are employees at schools with smaller budgets fairing even worse?

Minimum wage has been an issue in Congress this month, and although these wide-eyed sprites did give up Easy-Mac for like a week, this remains a federal issue. Check this study out:

In only four of the nation's 3,066 counties can someone working full-time for the federal minimum wage afford to pay rent and utilities on a one-bedroom apartment

That's fucked up. Anyway, I have an outstanding water bill that is through the roof, couple that with an empty fridge and I am about to have my own hunger strike. E-mail me any canned goods you have please, or just put a slice of pizza in my mailbox.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A read about this and a lot of the kids won't participate in something like this because they are worried their grades will get hurt. I think this is the perfect way to get better grades. Teachers love activism, they are nostalgic for it. They grew up in a time when campuses where the epicenters of action. Remember.

6:11 PM  

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