“Without Us, the School Would Fall Apart” | #students | #parents

Interview by
Piper Winkler

Like most colleges, Kenyon College depends upon its undergraduate students for essential labor. But when the coronavirus caused campus evacuations this spring, Kenyon student workers found themselves left out of the school administration’s support system. Denied pay and remote work opportunities, many of these student workers came together over Zoom meetings to organize against on-campus austerity. Over the summer, their main strategy became clear: forming a union.

Working with United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 712, which represents Kenyon maintenance staff, Kenyon student workers are fighting for a card-check neutrality agreement to win union representation. They are making their organizing committee and demands public. The students are insisting that student workers, like all workers, need job stability, fair wages, paid sick leave, and the right to safely organize. Jacobin’s Piper Winkler spoke to organizers Nick Becker, John Ortiz Vargas, and Sigal Felber about the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee’s organizing.

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