Students for Staff: Support Wesleyan’s Workers in Storm Aftermath

This is Dateline Wesleyan, reporting live from the Exley Science Center, where it’s approximately ungodly-o’clock. Live from the scene, Virgil Taylor ’15 is typing the blurb below:

Salutations. You may have received a bunch of emails today, pointing out that: “One perspective which has been neglected in the administrations response to the snow storm has been that of staff, and the unique needs staff face during disasters like this one.” A whole bunch of Wesleyan students got together and talked about that, and we are starting a whole bunch of stuff to fix that. If you missed out, or were in fact there, go to this link,  join the Google Group  and join the conversation. Thanks.

More formally: Many students are unsatisfied with the lack of measures taken to provide support or accomodations to the University’s staff during the storm and ensuing outage, especially in light of the administration’s work to resume classes tomorrow. Examples:

  • Many workers’ homes have lost power and will be without power for days and potentially weeks, endangering University employees’ shelter, food supply, and other basic tenets of survival.
  • Many university employees have children who aren’t going to school (public schools were closed for the week in Meriden and other nearby areas), and now must make tough and potentially costly decisions about child care.
  • Many workers face difficult commutes thanks to gas shortages, dangerous driving conditions, and other risks. Even those who do have power, like my boss, are forced to work long hours to fill duties others cannot.

Students have already begun to take action to support Wesleyan’s staff:  the Exley supply drive is one of several actions being planned or already underway. Different groups are also coordinating the creation of a formal document addressed to the administration, outreach to the Wesleyan community (like this post) and the greater Middletown/Connecticut community staff are a part of, and working with the employees themselves to ensure that their voices are being heard. For more detailed information, get involved! Click through to see the email that inspired this action:

One perspective which has been neglected in the administrations response to the snow storm has been that of staff, and the unique needs staff face during disasters like this one.  After speaking earlier with someone intimately involved with labor organizing on campus, I was astonished by the lack of care the administration is taking to the needs of staff during this disaster.  This person requested I organize this meeting, and they will call-in to explain more of their perspective.  No emails or voicemails have been sent in Spanish or other languages most familiar to some campus staff.  No accommodations have been offered to campus staff for showers, laundry, or food.  Wesleyan students have the unique opportunity to begin to fill in the gaps where the University has failed, and to pressure the administration to institutionalize needs which are outside of student capacity to fill.  Since some staff are looking at another 5+ days without power, this discussion, and ensuing action, is needed now.

Campus staff, who are being asked to come to work tomorrow regardless of their conditions at home, are facing a plethora of problems which we can help to ease:

-No heat
-No hot showers
-No food
-No laundry
-No language accessibility

Please come out tonight [Ed note: Just to clarify, this meeting has already occurred.].  I know it is a bad time for everyone, but it is even worse for many staff members, and this is a unique opportunity for us to help where our out our community where our administration has failed.

Look forward to hearing more from the group very, very soon, on Wesleying and elsewhere.

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2 thoughts on “Students for Staff: Support Wesleyan’s Workers in Storm Aftermath

  1. Pingback: Admin Responds Without Responding – Wesleying

  2. guest

    and don’t forget, some grad students have family, their small kids need warm shelter. but no service from campus

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