Harvard Students to Confront Governing Board Members at Midtown Offices and Park Ave. Homes
Prominent Members of Harvard's Corporate Board Have Refused to Raise Wages for University Service Workers
Who: Harvard Living Wage Campaign
What: Students to Confront Harvard University Governors at Corporate Headquarters in Manhattan
When: Friday, March 2, 1:30-5 PM
1:30 PM: Meet at corner of 49th St. and Rockefeller Plaza
4:00 PM: New York Yacht Club, 37 W. 44th St.
Contact: Aaron Bartley, (617) 495-4871
Maddy Elfenbein, (617) 493-3726
Miranda Worthen, (617) 571-4205, cell
On Friday, March 2, Harvard students will disrupt the Manhattan offices of four of New York's most prominent corporate leaders to demand a living wage for all workers at Harvard University. The four businessmen—James Houghton, D. Ronald Daniel, Robert G. Stone and Herbert Winokur—sit on the Harvard Corporation, the university's highest governing board The Corporation exercises control over all matters of university policy, including the wages and benefits of more than 1500 campus service workers who live below the poverty line. The Corporation is currently reviewing candidates to succeed Neil Rudenstine as President of Harvard.
For two years, Harvard students, faculty and workers and community leaders have called on the University to commit to a living wage of $10.25/hr for campus janitors, dining workers and security guards. Harvard administrators have reduced wages for service workers by outsourcing work to low-wage contractors and breaking up existing labor unions. Despite broad community and student support for a living wage, the Corporation has refused even to meet with the living wage coalition.
"Harvard wants to be known as an elite educational institution. In reality, it's a cut-throat business run by some of the most powerful corporate leaders in the country," said Maddy Elfenbein, a Harvard freshman. "The four men we're visiting today have shown total disregard for the lives of thousands of workers at Harvard. We want them to stop Harvard's destructive labor policies and to recognize the dignity of every member of the Harvard community."
Harvard University, the world's wealthiest educational institution and the oldest corporation in the United States, is governed by an elite corporate board comprised largely by Manhattan-based business leaders. The seven-member Corporation, which is now conducting a search for the Harvard presidency, meets in secret and releases no minutes.
"When it comes to low wages for janitors at Harvard, we feel it's important to go directly to the source of the problem—the autocratic Corporation members," said Aaron Bartley, a student at Harvard Law School. "The extremely wealthy and prominent members of the Corporation should feel ashamed that service workers at Harvard often work 90 hour weeks just to pay the rent in Cambridge," continued Bartley. "Meanwhile, Robert Stone, the head of the Harvard's presidential search committee, spends his afternoons at the New York Yacht Club."
Students will confront the four Corporation members at prominent New York institutions including McKinsey and Co., where D. Ronald Daniel serves as Director, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where James Houghton serves as Chairman.