Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vandals on the Loose!

The starting wage for Notre Dame building service employees is $9.02 an hour, or $8 an hour with no benefits for temporary workers, of which there are many. In St. Joe’s County, a self-sufficiency wage, the wage rate that provides a full-time worker an income sufficient to meet basic needs without subsidies of any kind is $12.90. And let’s be real, even workers who are lucky enough to make this “self-sufficiency” wage are struggling to pay their bills and support their families. Not such a great life, is it? Meanwhile, we are paying tens of thousands of dollars to attend this fine Catholic institution, which is systematically shitting on its own mission statement.
Notre Dame is first and foremost a business, which, like many corporations, specializes in cutting costs at the expense of its workers. Ever-increasing workloads, decreasing (or no) raises, hiring freezes, cutting hours, favoritism, discrimination, under-appreciation, working with injuries, disrespect, unjust suspensions... the list goes on. Talk to some workers; you’ll hear these stories, too.

The late Pope John Paul II—God rest his soul—wrote, “It is right to struggle against an unjust economic system that does not uphold the priority of the human being over capital and land.” That’s a pretty powerful statement. In an effort to make JPII proud, some quality Notre Dame students decided to hang up posters publicizing the nearly $4/hour difference between the self-sufficiency wage and the starting hourly wage of a Notre Dame building services employee. However, a couple of these students were stopped after hanging just one poster in the men’s bathroom. Apparently this is considered “vandalism” worthy of calling the all-powerful Notre Dame Security Police. Not wanting to risk a high-speed segway chase that would inevitably have ended with a career ruining reslife, the posters were removed. By the way, defines vandals as “a person who willfully destroys or mars something beautiful or valuable.” Never knew Debartolo bathrooms were valued so highly.

I don’t know when making people aware of injustice by hanging posters became vandalism, but that’s absurd. Do we have freedom of speech at this university, or can we only express things that paint Notre Dame in a positive light? Not only is JPII turning in his grave, but countless urinal users have been deprived of their right to a good read by this overbearing, unethical, yet allegedly Catholic institution.

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ShamRockNRoll said...

Liz, great post! Thank you for shedding light on this very important issue. Please keep up the fight! You guys should network with the College Dems on this. And, IMHO, fuck NDSP. Hang the posters anyway.

Sarah Furman said...

Brendan, rest assured, the fight will continue.

Betches in DeBart are the least of our worries =)

Anonymous said...

“Notre Dame is first and foremost a university and only insofar as it excels as a university can it give proper homage to the patroness who bears as one of her noble titles, Seat of Wisdom.”