Virginia Organizing Board member Lily Hungarland recently wrote this letter to the Cavalier Daily about the poverty wages workers are paid at the University of Virginia. The letter has not been published.
“It is far past due for UVA to pay its employees a living wage. Aside from poverty wages being a conscious decision to maintain and support racism and racial oppression, it is a danger to the future. I am in Curry and learn everyday about how students thrive, grow, and learn. Secure housing, nutritious meals, warmth, financial stability, and peace of mind from not being stressed due to a lack of any of those things are necessary for students to learn and develop. By paying poverty wages, UVA is requiring its workers to work more hours than exist in a day to provide the most basic needs for their children. UVA tells me I am a member of the community of Charlottesville, all while oppressing my neighbors and my students. If we as UVA students, professors, faculty, and decision makers do not actively take a stand against poverty wages, nothing will change.
Despite UVA’s racist history, when I decided to come to here, I did not think I was attending an institution that still maintained and promoted racism and oppression. Change that President Ryan. “