Campus Living Wage Project


Harvard University
Elaine Bernard
Dan Dimaggio
Madeleine Elfenbein
Lawrence Katz
Roona Ray & Amy Offner

Brown University
Peter Asen
Matthew Jerzyk (Jobs for Justice)
Nick Rutter
Anissa Weinraub

Swarthmore College
Sam Blair
Kae Kalwaic

Economic Policy Institute
Jared Bernstein

Jen Kern

Stanford University
Anna Mumford [to come]

Colorado College
Kai Stinchombe [to come]

Interested in being interviewed?

Page: About the Project

What's the project about?

In the winter of 2002, I left college to research the college "living wage" movement. I had followed the drama of the campaign at Harvard University through the pages of the New York Times, and wanted to find out more.

The "Campus Living Wage Project" is the result of that research. It's a collection of interviews with students and other activists about the living wage campaigns and their experiences organizing on campus.

What's a living wage campaign?

A "living wage" is generally defined as the minimum wage to support a family above the poverty line, and varies by area. Campus campaigns usually lobby universities to establish a minimum wage for all university workers at a level above the state minimum wage. (See EPI's useful living wage fact sheet for more information.)

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." Campaigns bring together the afluent and the working poor, the educated and the uneducated, and the advantaged and disadvantaged. Campus living wage campaigns tell a story about how very different people worked together (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) for a common goal.


Page links:
About Me: information about me and my interest in the campus living wage.
Contributing to the Project: if you're interested in being interviewed or posting your experiences in activism and organizing around student-labor or related issues, contact me here.
Interview and Edit Process: details on the interviewing and editing process. Important to read if you are interested in using the interviews here in an academic setting.

Living Wage Links: ACORN / Harvard PSLM / Economic Policy Institute / Jobs for Justice / United Students Against Sweatshops / LabourStart / PERI / United for a Fair Economy / SEIU

Last Updated 12.18.04
Research and design by Adam Stone
Feedback welcome
site map

This research project was generously funded by the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University, and supported through the efforts of Kent Koth, Renato Rosaldo, my family, and many friends and kind strangers.