Students Running Short on Food at UVA Sit-In

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart

April 13, 2006

Students were still standing their ground at UVA on Thursday night. Since Wednesday morning, 17 students were inside Madison Hall and dozens more are gathered out front. None of them said they were going to budge.

Students said it was all for a worthy cause. UVA workers are not being paid enough.

"I'm a student worker," explained Stephanie Henderson, a second year student at the school, "and...I get paid almost as much, or as much as some of the workers on grounds who are full-time, and I don't have to go home and feed my family."

In a statement issued Thursday, the University said it had no plans to change it's pay rate. It's not something the students wanted to hear, and they said they'll stay as long as it takes to see results.

"The plan for tonight is to also continue to have the vigil," said Abby Bellows, the student organizer of the sit-in. "We have tents set up behind us, and we're gonna remain a unified presence in solidarity with those inside. It will carry forward."

There could be a bump in the road for the 17 students inside. On Thursday night they were running low on food, and University police were on guard at the front doors to make sure nothing got passed through.

"Right now students are running low [on food], and are going to need some back up," said Bellows. "We're going to try to deal with that and we'll be prepared to deal with that tomorrow."

Bellows would not elaborate on the exact plan for Friday, only to say that the goal was to somehow get some food inside. Overall, the rally and sit-in has remained relax, and students say they want to keep this event positive. Campus police have said the same thing, and have not taken any negative action against students thus far.

Another rally is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. City council candidates Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro are expected to attend.

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