SSWS: The Little Engine That Can’t

Can someone tell Students Stand With Staff that they can give up now? They’ve fought “valiantly” now for employee benefits and whatnot, but their attempts keep getting more and more pedestrian.

Now they’ve got an online petition going. Their demands are predictable:


WE DEMAND that Dartmouth College restore pre-January 2011 healthcare benefits for all Dartmouth staff.

  • Dartmouth employees now pay up to an additional $4000 annually in healthcare costs for themselves and their families.

WE DEMAND that Dartmouth College stop subcontracting jobs.

  • Dartmouth has subcontracted jobs in Thompson Arena, the new Baker/Berry Café, the Hanover Inn, and the Dartmouth Skiway.  These jobs used to be held by Dartmouth employees who received fair wages, healthcare benefits, and retirement packages.  Now these jobs are run by outside corporations that have drastically reduced benefits.

After gaining a sufficient number of signatures, we will submit the petition to President Kim.

In other words, Dartmouth is doing what a large number of colleges do. One wonders if they’ll go so far as to outsource parts of DDS as they’ve done with the new Baker-Berry café—one of the proposals in the Review’s Lone Pine Plan. I’ve heard good things about Aramark, which runs the dining services at Abilene Christian University in my home town. Maybe Parkhurst should give them a call.

The number of signees is approximately 589 as of this writing. However, the first twelve pages of signatures are clearly composed of pranks. I very much doubt that “Barack Osama” or “Justin Bieber” support SSWS, but that’s the sort of thing that happens if your petition gets linked to on Bored@Baker.

If Jim Yong Kim wasn’t swayed by a candlelight vigil on the Green, I doubt he’ll feel moved to act by a petition that has perhaps as much as one third of its signatures composed by Dartmouth’s resident trolls.

Sterling C. Beard