Trustees: No Decision on Expansion in 2019; Student Workers Rally Against Delays

Press Release

Student Workers: We have had enough waiting.

GRINNELL, IOWA — On Monday, December 2, the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers held a rally titled “Enough Waiting” outside Nollen House, Grinnell College’s administration building. On the same day, in a “Campus Update” sent to all students, Grinnell College Board of Trustees announced that they would not make a decision on partial expansion, a compromise proposed by President Kington, in 2019. Outside Nollen House, student workers and community supporters packed the lawn, sharing stories, and singing labor songs. In so doing, we sent a message loud and clear: we have had enough waiting.

Despite much good-faith conversation and difficult concession from student workers over the past year, the Board of Trustees have continued to delay voting on partial expansion, and refused to release a concrete timeline for a decision. At the rally, Sam Xu ’20, President of UGSDW, laid out the next steps in our fight for union expansion, “Over the next few months, we are building a community of well-informed organizers and workers, connecting with all of our allies, and preparing for a series of direct actions. When the trustees meet on campus next February, we will be ready to hold them accountable.”

Student worker speaking at the Enough Waiting rally

Immediately after the rally, student workers participated in an organizing workshop, where they honed skills to organize their peers, and discussed tactics for more actions. “I learned a lot about how to organize my friends and co-workers, and how to answer questions about the union,” said Keir Hichens ’22, a student worker of Student Health and Wellness.

“We need tremendous action,” added Ryland Rich ’22, Executive Board Member-At-Large of UGSDW, “When we as a union over 600 members strong take bold united action, we will prove the trustees wrong in denying our worker rights.”

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