If university administrators decide to love and respect others, they might look at how Franklin and Marshall College has decided to treat its cleaners. They are now equal to administrators and faculty in terms of all benefits including free college degrees which could transform families for generations. And F and M will pay tuition at a community college for workers or children of workers without the skills to start at Franklin and Marshall. See https://www.fandm.edu/teamclean .
The University alleged that it could not afford to subsidize a student newspaper in 2013. The print edition was cut from being a weekly to two print editions a semester. The issue was money, they said. Really. An organization with a budget of over $600 million could not afford to provide $50,000 to keep the campus newspaper running. How many journalists out there began their careers at the college newspaper? How many stories about inflated budgets made university administrators uncomfortable over the years?
But now, AU administrators are much more comfortable. Students won’t see headlines about tuition increases in newspapers in the lobbies of their residence halls. Instead they will have to go online and search the Eagle for information. Would the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal have as much influence if they only existed online?
Today’s online Eagle has a fraction of the influence it had as a weekly print publication. See this link for details about the demise of the Eagle.
At a school that sells so many courses on politics, you might think that American University would encourage students to post their political opinions on campus. But this is not the case. A student who attaches a flyer to a bulletin board in the Mary Graydon Center, or tapes or tacks a flyer to a tree will see it removed in less than an hour in most cases. The university does not have a single kiosk like the one below where students’ opinions can be seen.
2018. The Pension Crisis. See “Retiring Injustice, AU’s Involvement in the Workers’ Pension Problem” by Savanna Strott from the AWOL Magazine Spring 2018, Issue 023 at http://campuscoverups.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Retirement.pdf
53 Years of Serving Food in the Terrace Dining Room and Still No Tuition Benefits.
Is This the Best AU Can Do? Is This Respect for the Labor of Others?
White-Collar Workers Gain Tuition Remission after 4 Months. Cooks,and cleaners are left out forever.
(The photo below was taken in 2015)
Have the service workers on campus ever received tuition benefits for themselves and their children?
In the mid 1980s, the university privatized dining and cleaning services on campus, and brought in outside vendors to manage cooking and cleaning services.
According to Nancy Bryant, who worked in the Terrace Dining Room for over thirty years, the workers kept their free tuition benefits for a few years, but then the benefits were revoked.
Since the late 80s, the cooks in the Terrace Dining Room and all the food related workers at all the snack bars on campus, and all the cleaners in the residence halls and other buildings have not had the benefit of free tuition for themselves or their children.
White collar workers and the blue collar workers in the construction trades on campus receive free classes through tuition remission for themselves after four months and for their children after two years.
What exactly are the benefits which AU is keeping from cooks and cleaners?
From AU’s Website: http://www.american.edu/hr/ProfDev-Education.cfm
After four months of active full-time employment, American University offers tuition remission for eligible employees, spouses and same-sex domestic partners at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.
After two year of active full-time employment, your eligible dependent child(ren) may receive:
- American University or Wesley Theological Seminary undergraduate scholarships for up to four academic years, or
- American University or Wesley Theological Seminary graduate tuition scholarships for up to two academic years, or
- Undergraduate tuition scholarships at over 600+ colleges and universities through the Tuition Exchange network for up to four academic year.
Rules and restrictions apply and some benefits are taxable.
What are some of the 600 schools where AU administrators and faculty sent their children for free each year if they don’t send them to AU for free?
See the list of the schools which exclude AU cooks and cleaners at http://www.tuitionexchange.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Families%7CMember%20Schools
and more information at http://www.american.edu/americantoday/features/20100119-tuition-benefits-explained.cfm
What Has the University Said in the Past about Its Arrogant and Disrespectful Treatment of Cooks and Cleaners?
Administrators have said that the University can’t provide educational help to employees of vendors on campus. This is misinformation. The University under its charter can provide educational benefits to anyone, anywhere, anytime it chooses.
In the fall of 2017, American University restored free tuition for the children of its service workers. But it still refuses to provide free classes to the workers themselves.
In 2018, AU offered service workers the ability to audit classes for free. But this is a fake benefit. The audit classes do not offer credit. Would anyone sit in on a class after a shift on their feet and take the class without getting credit for it?
President Burwell and other administrators should be ashamed of this weak effort at equality. Other schools with much smaller endowments are making serious efforts at equal educational benefits. See what Franklin and Marshall College is doing at https://www.fandm.edu/teamclean
Here is a link to a 1990 contract between Marriott and the food services workers at American University. ( https://campuscoverups.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/1990-1993-Marriott-Contract.pdf )
Note that pensions are not mentioned. The willingness of American University administrators to stand aside and stay silent when vendors removed pensions is the heart of the pension crisis at American University.
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Human Rights at American University Fall 2015