Participants in the living wage campaign of the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) concluded yesterday that they will only win higher wages for Harvard employees by aggressively lobbying the Harvard Corporation and educating the student body.
Their dinner discussion last night centered on what speakers called the "undemocratic" practices of the seven-member Corporation, the University's highest governing body.
Students said the meeting was intended as a brainstorming session to reinvigorate the living wage campaign, which is going into its third year. The discussion was open to all students.
One disgruntled student said that when she asked University Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67 where the next Corporation meeting would be held, he said, "If I gave you that information that would be the last meeting I'd have with the Corporation."
"Harvard should be an educational community, not a corporation," said Benjamin L. McKean '02, a member of PSLM.
The meeting focused on the Corporation because group members said the Corporation is responsible for effectively reducing the wages of Harvard janitors, guards and kitchen workers by deciding to contract them from other companies instead of hiring them directly.
"Some of the SSI workers are just two or three years older than we are," and still attending college, said PLSM member Claudia A. Sitgraves '02.
Sitgraves said combating students' apathy about the living wage campaign and educating them about the Corporation is the first step in their efforts.