The following Statement of Purpose was distributed to members of the Pomona College community on Dec. 8 regarding a hunger fast initiated by students (undersigned) calling for a meeting between current and former Dining Services employees and members of the Pomona College Board of Trustees following the termination of 17 Dining Services employees on Dec. 1 after they failed to submit adequate employment authorization papers. President David Oxtoby responded to the request, and the hunger fast was ended on Dec. 9. A meeting has been scheduled for Dec. 14 between members of the Board of Trustees, employees who were terminated on Dec. 1, current Dining Services employees and the four students who authored this letter. An editor from The Student Life will also be present at the meeting.
To the Editor,
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with all those affected by the recent document check, particularly the 17 Pomona dining hall employees who lost their livelihoods on December 1. Since these individuals who prepared our meals everyday are no longer here, we have begun fasting and will continue to do so until we know that their voices will be heard.
We are deeply disappointed with the Board’s recent decisions and support all attempts made by faculty, Concerned Pomona Students, and other community members to initiate dialogue with the Board of Trustees. As active participants and supporters of the extended vigil outside of Alexander Hall, we are in part inspired by our peers’ willingness to sacrifice their comfort and time for their beliefs.
We do not believe the Board has yet responded to the concerns of Pomona community members in direct and substantive ways. We therefore request that the Trustees of Pomona College agree to hold a meeting with dining hall employees—including those who were terminated on December 1—and with a small group of students when the Board convenes on Pomona’s campus next week. To further ensure transparency and honesty from all parties involved in this process, we ask that the Board allow this meeting to be recorded.
Only by recognizing all workers—including those who were terminated—as integral members of Pomona College and actively listening to their concerns can the Board truly honor its commitment to inclusiveness. Because the 17 employees dedicated valuable years of their lives in service to our community; we now commit ourselves to continue to fast until the Board schedules this meeting.
In hopes of a more equitable Pomona,
Isabel Juarez PO ‘13, Will Mullaney PO ‘12, Andrew Davis Saul PO ‘14, Tracy Zhao PO ‘13