Day Four of “Living Wage” Protest

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

April 15, 2006

Seventeen University of Virginia students are on day four of their sit-in, protesting for a raise for some of the University's lowest paid employees. It has been a long day for both students and administration at UVA. Around 1 p.m. there was a meeting between the two, and food was finally allowed inside Madison Hall for those participating in the sit-in.

Students, faulty and supporters continued their rally asking for all university employees to earn no less $10.72 an hour.

University of Virginia professor Brain Balogh is taking Saturday not only to support his students, but also to give his 16-year-old son a first hand look at what he calls, “American democracy.”

"I think he need to see how Americans express themselves when they feel strongly about something, so I'm really proud of him for coming out today,” said Balogh.

His son Jacob says that he’s lived in Charlottesville his entire life and he’s, “kind of embarrassed” by the way the university administration has handled the situation, but glad to be able to show his support.

“I feel very proud to be out here,” said Jacob. “Just offering whatever space I'm taking up just to let them know that people do care about this.”

“I am so proud of the 17,” said UVA professor Jeffrey Rossman as he spoke to a crowd of supporters.

As the 17 students continue with the fight inside Madison Hall, several continuing supporting from the outside, pushing for some type of agreement from the University administration.

No matter if a solution is made [Saturday] or next week, many supporters are happy with the continuous support of their struggle.

“Whatever happens today, the fact that this has become an issue that's in the minds of people, that's helpful,” said supporter Patrick Costello.

Although the University said that the 17 students inside Madison Hall would be arrested at 2 p.m. Saturday, that did not happen. No arrest or agreements have been made between UVA administration and protest organizers.

Those taking part in the protest say they have every intention of continuing with it until the administration has a fair discussion about some type of change.

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