Response to President Oxtoby

You can read this as a PDF here: Student Hunger Fast – Dec 9 Response to President Oxtoby

Dear President Oxtoby,

We want to thank you for your timely response. We to accept your proposal. We are pleased to hear that select members of the Board have agreed to officially meet in person with workers since 92% of them signed a petition in March 2010 stating they would like a fair process to unionize.

Regarding the meeting on December 14, we would like to make a few clarifications. We also agree that our role in this meeting is to be supportive observers. However, we ask that we be allowed to read a brief statement at the opening of the meeting to explain the intentions behind our actions.

The Board is taking an unprecedented step by agreeing to open this line of communication with workers themselves. We hope that this meeting marks the beginning of a longer conversation between workers and Board members concerning the atmosphere for all staff members at this college.

Despite numerous attempts by staff, faculty, and students to open constructive dialogue between board members and staff, this fast* is the first to initiate a direct meeting. That said, we would also like to reiterate that we chose to fast as a symbolic gesture in solidarity with those who had prepared our meals for many years who are no longer allowed to work at Pomona. We are glad to know that you are listening and will give all such proposals careful consideration in the future.

Again, we thank you for the quick response.

Isabel Juarez PO ‘13
Will Mullaney PO ‘12
Andrew Davis Saul PO ‘14
Tracy Zhao PO ‘13


*A “hunger-fast” differs from a “hunger-strike” in that “hunger-strikes” do not end until either the demands are met or the participant dies, whereas a “hunger-fast,” like the one in which we engaged, ends when the demands are met or at a predetermined point in time. This “hunger-fast” was designed to end when the Board of Trustees left campus, seeing as a meeting the week of the 12th would no longer be possible.

Hunger Solidarity Pledge

We invite you to join us in fasting until Pomona College’s Board of Trustees agrees to meet with workers when they are on campus the week of December 12. Please read the pledge below; if you support it, we invite you to sign your name.

I stand in solidarity with all those affected by the recent document check, particularly the 17 Pomona dining hall employees who lost their livelihoods on December 1. I pledge not to eat for the next 24 hours and call on the Board to schedule a meeting with workers when it convenes during the week of Dec 12. 

You can sign the pledge here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/hunger-solidarity-ask-the-board-to-meet-with-workers/

If you would like to begin your fast with us, we invite you to join us for a nonmeal everyday at 6pm; locations will be posted on our Facebook event here: http://www.facebook.com/events/302899119744316/

Thank you for your support!

Statement of Purpose

You can read it as a PDF here: Statement of Purpose

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with all those affected by the recent document check, particularly the 17 Pomona dining hall employees who lost their livelihoods on December 1. Since these individuals who prepared our meals everyday are no longer here, we have begun fasting and will continue to do so until we know that their voices will be heard.

We are deeply disappointed with the Board’s recent decisions and support all attempts made by faculty, Concerned Pomona Students, and other community members to initiate dialogue with the Board of Trustees. As active participants and supporters of the extended vigil outside of Alexander Hall, we are in part inspired by our peers’ willingness to sacrifice their comfort and time for their beliefs.

We do not believe the Board has yet responded to the concerns of Pomona community members in direct and substantive ways. We therefore request that the Trustees of Pomona College agree to hold a meeting with dining hall employees—including those who were terminated on December 1—and with a small group of students when the Board convenes on Pomona’s campus next week.  To further ensure transparency and honesty from all parties involved in this process, we ask that the Board allow this meeting to be recorded.

Only by recognizing all workers—including those who were terminated—as integral members of Pomona College and actively listening to their concerns can the Board truly honor its commitment to inclusiveness. Because the 17 employees dedicated valuable years of their lives in service to our community, we now commit ourselves to continue to fast until the Board schedules this meeting for next week.

In hopes of a more equitable Pomona,

Isabel Juarez PO ‘13 isabel.juarez@pomona.edu
Will Mullaney PO ‘12 william.mullaney@pomona.edu
Andrew Davis Saul PO ‘14 andrew.saul@pomona.edu
Tracy Zhao PO ‘13 tracy.zhao@pomona.edu

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