What's the project about?
In the spring of 2002, student activists at Harvard University staged a dramatic sit-in to support the living wage at their university. It not only improved labor rights at Harvard, but it brought national attention to the burgeoning campus living wage movement.
The Campus Living Wage Project began in the winter of 2002 as a way of understanding the movement and learning from past campaigns. It consists of extensive interviews with student activists, organizers, and researchers from all around the country about their experiences with campus labor rights campaigns.
What's a living wage campaign?
A "living wage"is the minimum wage to support a family above the poverty line, and varies by area. Campus campaigns lobby universities to establish a minimum wage for all university workers at a level above the state minimum wage. (For more information, see EPI's useful living wage fact sheet.)
But campus living wage campaigns are usually about much more than a living wage policy. They are attempts to reinvigorate employee unions, to protect workers' rights, and to stem university policies that hurt employees' legal and economic power. They are also the convergence point of enormous differences within the university "community."