April 1st Action!

Photo by Aldyn Markle

On Friday April 1, at least 150 Hampshire and five college students marched from the dining hall, around campus, and then to the office of Mary McEneany, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer. At least 60 students marched into Mary’s office and staged a sit-in. Campus Police were called. Mary met with us briefly, refused to meet our demands, and then proceeded to leave campus for the day along with every other person who works in Blair Hall.We completely shut down the Business Office, hours before normal closing time.

sit in
Photo by Keon Ruddy 

Campus police and Assistant Dean of Students, Pam Tinto, asked us to leave, citing the need to lock the building. Having shut down that office, we made the decision to leave Mary’s office and go to the office of then Acting President Byron McCrae, upstairs in the Merrill Living Room. The doors were locked in advance of our arrival. Two offices shut down.

Secretary of the college, Beth Ward and Chief Creative Officer, David Gibson were awaiting us inside and welcomed us into the space. Beth communicated to us that Byron was also out of town (meaning all three of our potential presidents were unreachable). She graciously received our demands and said that she was unable to meet them but that we were welcome to stay. Beth and David stayed with us for nearly 3 hours, until 4:30 when the President’s Office closed and we dispersed for the day.

At the end of the day, the Student <-> Worker Solidarity Network made it known that many students on this campus care about respecting workers and about demanding what is right. More than 10% of the student body joined the march from the dining commons and we are not going to stop now. We plan to escalate our actions and continue to demand accountability and respect from Mary McEneany and other stakeholders.

Photo by Daniel Vogel

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