Letters to the Editor

Focus on service, not résumés

As a senior at GW, it disappoints me to once again see my school only concentrate on teaching us the corporate ladder and how to climb as quick as possible (“How to get a job in this economy,” Oct. 27, p. 4).

Over four years here, I have rarely seen anything about public service or even improving the community around us in D.C. It is sad to think that when I graduate, most students will leave with very little concern for those around them because the message at GW has been about self-growth with blinders on to those around us.

Public service is something to be proud of and encouraged, not seen as a waste of valuable work years. The GW trend, however, points toward continued résumé-building activities and fewer service-based initiatives.

This trend is especially disappointing during our economic troubles, when we should be concerned with our community and not with our personal gains. That is what got us here in the first place.

Scott Leibowitz, Senior

J Street workers need our support

Last Monday’s article on the struggles of the union at J Street offered an insightful glimpse into labor relations at GW (“J Street union fights Sodexo over firings,” p. 1).

It is disconcerting to learn that Sodexo, our food service provider, in order to lay off union workers, blatantly violated the collective bargaining agreement reached with their employees. Moreover, I have developed relationships with several workers over the past year, and after talking with them it is apparent that Sodexo management is treating them quite unfairly. Not only have they drastically reduced the proportion of union employees in the Marvin Center, but workers also regularly endure verbal abuse, physically harmful working conditions and unfair scheduling, among many more iniquities.

I strongly stand by the Sodexo employees in their struggle to attain a workplace where they are given the respect they deserve as human beings. As students we have an especial concern to see that this happens. After all, they are only employed here in order to serve us.

Therefore, I was very surprised when the shop steward, Muriel Patterson, recently told me that a Sodexo manager told her he supposedly met with the heads of student organizations over dinner, and they all agreed to “not interfere” with union negotiations. Two organizations of which I’m a member, the Progressive Student Union and the GW Students for Fair Trade, were definitely not invited to this dinner. Nor would we ever agree to “not interfere” with union relations.

Let’s make it clear that there is strong student support for workers and that we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that all members of our campus community are shown the respect they deserve.

Aaron Keshner, Junior

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