"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

Monday, February 04, 2008

a response from Students for Staff: on the nature of community and dialog at Miami University

in reaction to events surrounding the State of the Student Body Address (Jan. 29, 2008):

On Tuesday, Students for Staff spoke with a full-time staff member at Miami who lives alone and provides for herself by working a second job. Recently, she woke up in the hospital—her blood sugar had plummeted overnight and the sudden drop almost killed her. Now she's afraid to go to sleep. She broke her tailbone last year when a sudden drop in blood sugar caused her to fall, and she crashed her car when her blood sugar got so low that she nearly passed out.

An automatic insulin pump would be enough to prevent these incidents from ever happening again. She and her doctors are trying to get the pump covered through Miami's insurance, but she's been told it will likely be denied. The "market-competitive wages" from the "employer of choice" aren't enough that she can afford the device herself. Even with the addition of a second job, she is still forced to choose between her proper medication and other basic necessities. These are the realities at the heart of our demand for a living wage.

Nevertheless, the university's response to our concerns has been consistently clear: "not now, not here." Most recently, at ASG's Annual State of the Student Body Address, President Hodge said he was disappointed in us for bringing up "our" issue at yet another public forum. This comment followed a speech in which President Hodge commended students for embracing the issues that confront Oxford as a community. In response, we would like to inform President Hodge that poverty is a community issue, and, as community leaders, President Hodge and the administration have the responsibility to pay Miami's hard-working staff what they deserve, not as little as Miami can get away with.

Furthermore, the entire student body was invited to this event and encouraged to ask questions. It reflects poorly on our president's commitment to community if one of the few student organizations that cared enough to come tothe event was denigrated and condemned for voicing community concerns. We would like to inform President Hodge that community must emerge from collaboration and dialog; it doesn't appear overnight with the construction of an $80 million bicentennial student center. It is practically impossible to muster the excitement and enthusiasm President Hodge invoked in his discussion of plans for the bicentennial student center when you remember the full-time Miami staff who must live in extreme frugality because Miami is not paying them a fair wage.

If students' concerns for local poverty and economic justice are consistently unwelcome at student forums and events, when and where will community finally be realized at Miami?


remaerdyaD said...

Just read your article.

Employer of choice? Oh, REALY. As someone who the gov calls technicaly "unemployable" (unemply'd and sans state warding for longer than 3 yrs) this gave me pause.

I nevr realy thought about it. But ppl are always giving me employment advice, sometimes every day. Do we actualy believe that like our liberty is basicaly reduced to choosing between jobs? Okay, so like I wana be something and so I can go do that cos... we won the war against fascism?

The daydreamer thanx you.
end of coment
CAPTCHA: skiopssi

remaerdyaD said...

Blanket comunicay for my few remaining online asociates, including yourself:
Duno if uv been folowing goings on with wordpress of late but I was able to register a user name just now. Jus in case ur stil evr inerested in the colaboration thing.
~ remaerdyaD

TOR Hershman said...

Is it not most dreadful when the primary products of our empire are bombs and illness?
Yep, it is.

Stay on groovin' safari,

stephan!e lee said...

R: hey, a collab would be great! i don't have time for much these days, but we can try to figure it out. if you set something up, i'll pitch my 2 cents.

Tor: thanks for visiting! but why the catch phrase? i noticed it's on all yr posts. and i don't get it.


remaerdyaD, aparently said...

Rad. Stephanie Lee, the Rad Organizer.

After like ten hours of video editing headaches think im braindead - like how I wus after a math exam in school. I kind of miss writing. Writer strike almost over. Sinking deep into chair. Upload complete... was thinking of blog title like creative resistance or something... nites to u and urs... don forget 2 turnoff ur puter...zzzz