Student Labor Reps Have Divergent Views

The Undergraduate Council gave final approval Wednesday to the two undergraduates who will serve on the Katz Committee to address the issues of low-paid workers at Harvard.

Benjamin L. McKean `02 and Matthew Milikowsky `02 were selected by the council's Student Affairs Committee (SAC) on Tuesday night to serve on the 20-person panel of faculty, administrators and students. The rules require that the entire council confirm the appointments. The two were confirmed by a vote of 25 to five.

McKean and Milikowsky come to the committee from opposite sides of the living wage debate.


A member of the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM), McKean has been interested in labor issues since his first year at Harvard. He was among the 23 members of PSLM to participate in the recent Mass. Hall sit-in for the full three weeks.

The sit-in sparked the creation of the new committee, which will be headed by Professor of Economics Lawrence Katz.

The sit-in for a $10.25 living wage also aroused Milikowsky's opposition.

Milikowsky disagreed with the Mass. Hall occupation. But it prompted him to investigate the issue of a living wage for the first time. Milikowsky is a moderate Democrat who owes his seat on the Katz committee to a bloc of conservative voters in SAC. For the moment he says he opposes PSLM's living wage proposal, but adds that he is open to being persuaded.

After Wednesday night's meeting McKean and Milikowsky said they would get in touch with each other. But they say that, although they both represent undergraduates, they will work independently as members of the committee.

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