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by SEJ, UCSD (reposted with permission by sdimc
Tuesday, May. 29, 2001 at 6:23 AM
AFTER BEING IGNORED BY THE CHANCELLOR FOR OVER THREE WEEKS, STUDENTS ATTEMPTED TO MAKE A PEACEFUL PRESENTATION ON THE SITUATION OF UCSD NON-UNION JANITORS
(UC SAN DIEGO, LA JOLLA) - Yesterday, May 22, 2001, after being ignored by UCSD Chancellor Robert Dynes for over 3 weeks, approximately 20 UCSD students from Students for Economic Justice attempted to make a peaceful presentation at the UCSD Chancellor's Associates meeting yesterday about the situation of UCSD non-union janitors. Several students were injured due to the violence from the UCSD administration, namely Edgar Gillenwaters, the Senior Director of External Relations. Students felt that this presentation was the only way to receive the full attention of Chancellor Dynes.
First, students, who were semi-formally dressed, requested to make a short presentation at the meeting but were rejected. Students then decided to ask for a guaranteed meeting with the chancellor, but were rejected again. After long negotiations, students then collectively decided to peacefully hold hands to enter the meeting and make their presentation.
As students entered, they were met with unexpected violence by Edgar Gillenwaters, the Senior Director of External Affairs and several other UCSD officials. Eleazar Loza, a first year student, was elbowed in the jaw by Gillenwaters as he entered the outdoor tent. While Joshua Wilson, a second year student, was on stage speaking to the audience, Gillenwaters violently pulled Wilson by his belt off the stage. Gillenwaters was so violent that even Chancellor Dynes cautioned the administrator. After the chaotic chain of events, Fatima Padojino, a third year student was somehow scratched on her arm and was bleeding.
Fortunately, students who made it inside the outdoor tent were able to explain briefly to the associates why students were attempting to make a presentation. The Chancellor Associates is the body of major financial donors to the university who meet quarterly.
Previously, students held a march to hand deliver letters; students sent faxes and emails to the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs to show the growing student concern of the 100 non-union janitors paid poverty wages with few benefits at UCSD. More importantly, Alejandra Rodriguez, a former UCSD janitor, was fired for being in favor of the union, decent wages and benefits. The Service Employees International Union Local
2028 has filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge against Bergensons, the contractor.
This is not the end, students will continue the pressure on the Chancellor until the demands are met. The struggle continues. Stay tuned for June 1st.
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