Students and employees are currently taking up a third of the Retreat and singing songs, including "We Shall Overcome." The song was popularized during the Civil Rights movement by Pete Seeger, who spoke out against the cuts back in October when we performed at Vassar. Song sheets were distributed and students are playing guitars and other instruments.
"Our hope is to keep this going as long as we possibly can, until our voices can’t sing anymore," writes Nathan Orians '10 in an email to various students and employees about the Campus Solidarity Working Group's "Day of Action."
Several students are also stationed by the entrance to Main with a sign behind them stating that they will "hunger strike until layoffs canceled." The strike is the work of the new Uppity group, which aims to take more drastic measures than the Campus Solidarity movement does. "We believe radical and structural change is the only way out of this cycle," the group's blog states as its mission. According to the group's Twitter page, three students are striking. From the blog:
"An autonomous group of Vassar students who resist the corporatization of their college began a hunger strike at 11:59 pm on Tuesday, December 8th. The hunger strikers will not eat until the administration cancels the layoffs of 13 members of the Vassar community, who have been notified that their jobs will no longer exist come Christmas break. The administration has refused to engage in direct negotiations with the unions on campus."
The last hunger strike against the firing of campus workers took place in May, during which five students went without eating for five days. "This time the hunger strikers will not accept temporary fixes or band-aids," a blog post states, adding,"They refuse to nourish their bodies until jobs are restored."
There will also be a vigil today at 4:00 on Raymond Avenue behind the library.