"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

listen up!

oh, this level of prolificness simply will not do. this is the third day in a row i've published something here! u're going to get spoiled and upset with me when, in a few days, i write nothing at all for days and days at a time.

but alas, that is a future unconscionable at the present time, b/c here again i have something for you:

the LIVING WAGE FORUM was a HUGE success! and my introductory speech, so i hear, was a knock-out, flat-out flash-out, drag-out hit!

so, to share my elation with those of you who could not be there, the intro, which i slaved and fretted over in between writing Foucauldian and Derridean analyses of Fight Club...



It is so easy to forget about poverty, when we are so comfortably surrounded by wealth. Most Miami University students come from families with an average household income of over $200,000. Miami University is fairly well off as well, with a total of $47 million in net assets. Yet, there are innumerable staff at Miami who are living at or below the poverty line.

As our administration has acknowledged, many University employees are struggling to make end's meet because they do not earn a sufficient income. Students for Staff values the work they do and believe that valuable work demands valuable compensation. It is Students for Staff's stance that no one working full time for a public institution should require government assistance to sustain a basic style of living.

As the largest employer in the area and a public trust, Miami University has a responsibility to address the rising poverty rate in Butler Co.

Students for Staff has been working for over 3 years toward a more just wage policy for the workers of Miami. We join other universities such as Yale, Harvard, and Georgetown, as well as UVA in seeking economic justice for our workers.

Students for Staff are undergrads, graduate students and alumni who believe in living the values of liberal education by putting research and knowledge into ACTION. Students for Staff sees itself as the voice of the workers on campus, as they have been silenced and ignored by the administration. We have been collaborating with workers to understand the working conditions at Miami University, and believe President Hodge and the administration have a responsibility to listen to the staff and the community and address the inequities they face.

Students for Staff has reached out to other student groups, has worked with the local AFSCME union, has met with staff committees and administration, including President Hodge, Carol Hauser the head of human resources, and Richard Norman from the Board of Trustees. And now we are reaching out to you. Students for Staff believes that through engaging in meaningful dialog, and through community building, we can achieve the strength to empower students AND staff to affect change, and work toward our collective interest of making Miami a better, a more inclusive, and more respectful community.

We see the effects of disempowerment everyday, and Students For Staff strives to counter the disengagement we see in our community, by building strong relationships and connections between groups.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Great speech Steph. It's not just there, it's everywhere. Rich versus poor, and the poor are increasing every year.