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LWAC heads to UMKC's 'Tent State'
Oct 6, 2005

UMKC students demand living wages during during weeklong 'Tent State' action!This week the University of Missouri at Kansas City is "Tent State". I got to stop by as students demanded more funding for higher education to offset skyrocketing tuition and to allow campus workers to be paid living wages, and protested the outrageous amount of money spent in Iraq that could've been better used for education.

The Living Wage Action Coalition's workshop was on Wednesday. This was one of many "classes" held at Tent State throughout the week. UMKC folks and I talked about the concept of living wages and the history of the living wage movement, then watched the documentary from Georgetown's campaign. Folks were really enthusiastic about the growing campus living wage movement and wanted to start talking to other students around the country doing similar work. I also got to have a more intimate discussion with the Tent State organizers about the future of the living wage campaign at UMKC – a great conversation about campaign strategy, diversity within the campaign, and more.

The Tent State folks have gained power and momentum from effectively organizing an energetic tent city for two years in a row (last year they got the union-busting foodservice contractor Sodexho kicked off campus), and they are now grappling with the seemingly endless bureaucracy faced by many student activists at public universities. Their campaign firmly connects the issues of increasing tuition and living wage in my mind, in that they are demanding justice in higher education both for students and workers at once!

xo Jack, jack(at)livingwageaction.org

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