I am the School of Continuing and Professional Studies representative on Student Council, but let me emphasize that I do not speak for that body; rather, I speak to you as a full-time University employee, probably the only primary stakeholder in this entire discussion of a living wage.
Jared Brown, in an email which I gladly will forward, calls us on Council apathetic and too ignorant to even read a local, let alone national newspaper. Obviously we are too lazy to research something on short notice, regardless of a parliamentary procedure which calls for us to table a motion for one week to soberly consider it after studying the facts presented. Personally, I think he was too lazy to research parliamentary procedure before he presented his case to an organization which runs on it. If Brown had done 30 seconds of research, he would have found the University offers its employees an almost unending schedule of career development classes. These are mostly offered during work hours so that people working more than one job can not only take advantage of a free class, but actually get paid to take it with no sacrifice in time. I cannot emphasize enough the almost endless list of classes offered to enhance your University career. If these classes do not seem sufficient, the University gives a $2000/year educational benefit. I realize that college is not for everybody for a variety of reasons, but this stipend also applies to vocational schools where you can learn a trade. Minimum wage for entry-level employees is just what it says ... entry-level. The University bends over backwards to train its employees and give them the skills to leave entry-level far behind them, and if you take advantage of this generous benefit, you should be rewarded by the fruits of your labor. Giving equal raises to people who do not make the effort to get ahead is not what this University has taught me.
Brown and his cronies have a unique view: Essentially, that if you do not agree with them you are racist, homophobic and too stupid to understand. This was thrown in our face Tuesday at the Council meeting when we tabled the living wage motion for further discussion, following Robert's Rules. The campaign may have a legitimate point to make, and I am willing to listen, but their techniques are intended to end rational discussion, not further it.
Phil Kleinheinz\nSCPS '13