Tag Archives: Aftermath

The Claremont Progressive: Critique of the Extended Vigil: Building a Stronger Movement

From The Claremont Progressive: Link to original article


As the first month of this semester draws to a close, to many, the campus has returned to a state of normalcy; the weather has been pleasant, the jabs at CMC have been plentiful, and ultimate Frisbee continues to imperil pedestrians on Marston Quad. The events of last semester, the tents, the firings, the struggles, have been all but forgotten beneath the braying of first years agonizing about the long trek to Frary, being a sponsor, and the lack of snack on South Campus. Many scoff at the idea of bringing these issues back into focus, insisting instead the past is past and what is done cannot be changed. While it may be easy to forget the past, history is power, and with the experiences of marginalized communities already silenced in the dominant historical narrative, we cannot let the struggle of the 17 fired workers be forgotten. In continuing this struggle, though, there also needs to be space for critical self-reflection in order to build on what has gone well and rethink what could have been more effective; my critique fits squarely into this space. As a supporter of both the extended vigil and Workers for Justice, I believe the extended vigil was a necessary action in solidarity with the workers fighting for their jobs, but the strategies and tactics used could have better supported their struggle. Continue reading

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The Claremont Progressive: Notes from the Open Forum

From The Claremont Progressive: Link to original article


This Tuesday, five dining hall workers who lost their jobs in December after Pomona’s document checks spoke about why they were fired, the daily injustices they faced working at Pomona, and how they’ve continued to fight since they were fired.

The document checks happened in the middle of a union organizing drive. At the forum, the workers asked repeatedly why the administration decided to demand their immigration papers now after the workers have worked at Pomona for years and, in some cases, decades.

“They wanted to get rid of us, so they found a way to get rid of us,” Christian Torres said.

Torres emphasized how the fight at Pomona is part of the national fight for immigrant justice. He described how the workers have given a lot in the workplace and that they deserve to be part of this country. Continue reading

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The Student Life: Where Things Stand with Dining Hall Workers

From The Student Life: Link to original article


After the tumultuous events of last semester, an eerie calm has settled over the Pomona College campus. Aside from Frank Dining Hall’s closure on the weekends, there is not much evidence to attest to the firing of 17 college employees and the unprecedented protests, debates, and meetings that ensued. Even the grass in front of Alexander Hall has grown back. Yet for those 17 employees—and, I’m sure, many other students, staff, and faculty—the memories are still fresh. The “new normal” that has enveloped the campus may leave some to think that nothing came out of last semester’s event, but this is not the case. Continue reading

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The Student Life: Trustees Review Audit, Communication

From The Student Life: Link to original article


The Pomona College Board of Trustees has opened a series of internal reviews and set up a task force on communication between students and trustees, prompted by the controversial document checks that cost 17 Pomona employees their jobs last semester.

Members of the Trustee-Student Task Force on Campus Community Communication, charged with developing ways to create better exchanges of information between Pomona students and trustees, said they plan to submit their recommendations to the Board of Trustees by the end of this month. Continue reading

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The Student Life: Frank Remains Closed on Weekends

From The Student Life: Link to original article


Pomona College’s Frank Dining Hall will remain closed on weekends until further notice, Dining Services wrote in an e-mail to the Pomona community Thursday. Frank was initially expected to revert to normal hours by the end of January, but the dining hall is still understaffed after the termination of 16 dining hall employees in December.

“Many of the workers we lost were high-level cooking professionals who were critical to the operation,” the e-mail said.

South Campus Representative Nick Lawson PO ’14 said that four of the college’s six highly-experienced Class Three chefs were terminated.

“We’ve been told that they have found two more, but I’m not sure if anyone has been hired yet,” said Lawson, who sits on the Food Committee.

“There are lots of applicants but not a lot of experience,” said Dean of Campus Life Ric Townes, also a member of the Food Committee.

The e-mail does not say when Frank is expected to return to its normal schedule.

“It is most certainly going to be closed until spring break and possibly later,” Lawson said. “They closed it on weekends with the expectation that they can get enough employees for it to open after [spring] break, but we’ll wait to reevaluate then.”

Lawson said the difficulty the college is having in the search for experienced chefs is unlikely a result of the college’s controversial decision to terminate employees who could not verify their employment documentation by a December deadline.

“That would be hard to believe, considering the amount of applications we got,” he said.

Frary Dining Hall will be open for extended hours on weekends and extra outdoor seating will be provided until Frank reopens.

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