The Quaker Campus

Letter to the Editor: April 21, 2016

The Quaker Campus

Dear Whittier College Administration:

We, Poets Organizing Workers’ Economic Rights (POWER), write this letter in support of our Whittier College SODEXO workers who keep our campus clean. We have heard rumors that Whittier College is considering other companies to outsource the SODEXO cleaning service and we are worried about the job security of our workers.

We recognize the invaluable contributions that the workers provide for the College campus. These workers have been a part of the Poet family for several years. We see them on a daily basis, we know their names and their stories and we recognize and appreciate their hard work. For some of us, these workers are like our mothers and fathers and grandmothers. They understand that we face many challenges and support us by providing clean areas to study or hang out and greet us with a smile and a “good morning.”

As Poet students, we value Whittier’s Quaker heritage and are deeply committed to social justice. We worry about our SODEXO workers and their families.  We therefore ask that Whittier’s administration, especially President Sharon Herzberger and Vice President for Finance and Administration James Dunkelman, think about these members of the Poet family when they renegotiate the contract with SODEXO. Specifically, we are asking for the following:

  • -host a forum for workers to voice their concerns
  • -take student concerns into consideration
  • -inform the Whittier College community (students and staff) of
  • any updates regarding this concern
  • As Whittier College students, we pay thousands of dollars for their services and we are not afraid to fight for their stay. We love our SODEXO workers and we stand in solidarity with them. Hurting our workers will hurt us, too. Do not forget, our workers are Poets, too.

In solidarity,

Poets Organizing Workers’ Economic Rights (POWER)
Social Justice Coalition Board officers
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Aztlán (MEChA)
Amigos Unidos
Whittier College Feminist Coalition (FemCo)
Students for Education Reform (SFER)
First Generation & Allies
Students for Justice in Palestine at Whittier College (SJP-WC)
Roosevelt Institute at Whittier College
Poets Food Recovery Network