Letter to the Editor
Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 08:12
Yesterday, the Daily published an article about a recent incident in Carmichael Hall in which fecal matter was smeared on a bathroom wall and one of our janitors was forced to clean up the mess. Many students were outraged to hear about this, and have asked us, the members of Tufts Labor Coalition, what they can do to support janitors and other Tufts workers. Here is a simple list of suggestions for students to help make Tufts an inclusive, supportive community for all, including the workers on this campus.
1. Write to President Monaco — a letter, email, and/or public Facebook post — asking what he plans to do about the Carmichael incident, and say you will refuse to give future alumni donations to a school that doesn’t value its workers. Keep the administration accountable to workers so they pay them fair wages, offer them fair benefits and make sure Tufts stays a positive working environment.
2. Make your rage sustainable. Talk to other students, especially underclassmen who have more time at Tufts to make noise about these kinds of issues. While students aren’t smearing feces on the walls every day, there are many other issues we should raise our voices about, and solidarity is a full-time job.
3. Talk to workers on campus! Just saying hi makes a big difference and many workers love when students introduce themselves. Keep talking to them, get to know them, ask them about themselves and tell them about yourself. Build relationships. Ask them what you can do to make their jobs easier. Many Tufts workers speak Spanish, Portuguese or French. Don’t be afraid if your language skills are imperfect — there are still ways you can communicate.
4. Hold your peers accountable. Don’t let someone walk away from a mess — help each other clean it up. Remind each other of the importance of respect.
5. Make sure your janitors know their hard work is appreciated. Make a holiday card. Organize your floor to make one together.
6. It’s shocking that this needs to be said, but please, please don’t smear your feces on the wall.
These suggestions are by no means an exhaustive list. Talk to us, talk to your friends and, above all, remember that there are many people who work hard, day in and day out, for us to get the educational experience we are privileged to receive. Respect goes a long way.
Tufts Labor Coalition