Yesterday students and their allies, including Workers United, rallied at the Dixon Center in Harrisburg to demand a living wage of $15 an hour for all students and staff on campus. They are also demanding a freeze on tuition fee increases and no retrenchment of PASSHE faculty. There are currently 5 schools facing the possibility of retrenchment: Clarion, Mansfield, California University, Cheney, and Edinboro. The layoffs and program elimination may lead to a smaller student body and may cause a cascade of layoffs across campus.
At the rally, protesters had hoped to deliver their message to Chancellor Brogan. Instead they spoke with Kenn Marshall, PASSHE spokesperson. Marshall stated that the problems in the state system have been created by a lack of state and federal funding. While Governor Wolf plans to increase the state’s allocation, it is still woefully below the amounts the PASSHE system received pre-recession of 2008.
Nahje Royster, a sophomore at West Chester, spoke about the financial struggles of student workers and how they are often stuck working full-time, going to school full-time, and are still unable to make ends meet. She sees $15 an hour as the answer and thinks the administration should as well. “I don’t think this is something we should have to stand up and debate, but here we are.”
It is vital that we continue to stand and fight for the rights of working families and that we let the people in power know: the people united, will never be defeated!
To view the news coverage of the event please follow the link below:
Front banner photo from Raging Chicken press.