April 6th, 2005

dragon head

The Recreational Raising of Hell

So currently on campus, there'ps the Student-Worker Alliance raising a sort of ruckus. Y'know, people with signs shouting things through megaphones, 24/7 sit-ins in the administrative offices (much to the amusement of the staff), the usual for a campus protest. It's the first really interesting thing to happen to campus for a while, since the debates. I do have photos of some of this, but I'm at a lab computer and my CF-card reader is in my laptop in my dorm.

Anyway, they're protesting to get higher wages for the laborers on campus. With chants of "What's outrageous? Wash U's wages! What's disgusting? Union busting!", they're refusing to leave the administrative offices until the Chancellor at least starts negotiation, and the Chancellor has stated that he won't start negotiation until the protestors leave. I have the distinct feeling that the Chancellor is very deliberately egging the protestors on for the amusement of all involved, and I really have to support him on that.

I'm not sure where I stand with regards to the SWA's campaign. They've certainly done good things with regard to at least getting the workers noticed and vaguely respected by students, but I'm not sure I agree with their wage campaign. They're trying to get the workers up to a "living wage", from $7.25 (I think) an hour up to $9.50.

Perhaps that's Misourri's definition of a living wage, but doesn't $9.50 seem a little high? That's $3/hr more than you make as a gallery assistant at the St. Louis Science Center, $2.50 more than a TA makes, $2.50 more than an undergraduate researcher makes, and $1.50 above the national average for comparable work. $7.25 is too low, but $9.50 is asking too much.

I'm not sure what I think, but I do think I want to make things even worse. That is to say, I want to cause conflict. I want the beauty of conflicting propaganda war. I want chaos. I've seen insufficient argument on this- the SWA is doing great, but they don't have enough people eagerly disagreeing with them! Therefore, I'm going to make counter-flyers and spend $3.00 at Kinko's- maybe $7.00, if I use colored paper- and one hundred sheets aught to be plenty of ways to agitate them and get even more vigorous activity out of campus.

I'm evil. Yay! Stir the nitroglycerine!