Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Living Wage: Noble Sacrifice or Foolish Idealism’

To the Editor:

The idea that contracted employees at Georgetown should make $14.93 an hour borders on the farcical.

That amount is roughly $2.00 an hour more than many Georgetown graduates earn when they enter government service. I made $13.02 an hour ($25,000 annually) working as a staff assistant on Capitol Hill while the ink was still fresh on my School of Foreign Service diploma.

Though I feel that cleaning up after filthy undergrads is an important job, ought those who perform this odious task get paid more than many graduates of the university?

Because I couldn’t afford to live comfortably on this salary, I worked a second job and shared a bedroom with a stranger in Alexandria. Despite this below-“living wage” income, I was able to put away some money into savings. While I obviously didn’t have children, these savings (and the income of my presumed spouse) could have been used to that end.

Why do these Georgetown subcontract employees deserve special treatment?

Dave Heaton (SFS ’02, GRD ’05) March 18, 2005

To the Editor:

It might seem like the Living Wage Coalition’s ongoing hunger strike is a local event, a memorable piece of Hoya history that you can watch now and remember later, like some great television special. But this is not a small concern unique to Georgetown’s community – this is history in the making.

Today, myself and other alumni all over this country will join the Georgetown hunger strikers by fasting in solidarity with those who are giving so much of themselves to make such monumental change. We make this sacrifice to emphasize the importance of the administration’s quick decision on this matter. University administrators have had the luxury to examine the details of budgets and statistics for years – years that workers have spent waiting for health care, waiting to see their families, waiting to feel safe in their job.

The time has come for Georgetown to fulfill its Jesuit mission. The time has come for students and graduates of one of the world’s most prestigious universities to show that we care about more than our starting salaries and the titles we put on our business cards.

We care about taking a stand about the sort of world we want to live in. We care about giving others the opportunities we have been granted.

This is your chance to make history, and I ask each of you to get involved.

Nick Laskowski (COL ’03) March 21, 2005

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