Casteen has living wage sit-in students arrested

brownOn Saturday evening, the four-day-old living wage sit-in at Madison Hall came to an abrupt end.

"We thought the administration wanted to engage in substantive, good faith, dialog about this issue," demonstration organizer Abby Bellows told reporters. "So we came back to the table with a lot of really constructive compromises. And instead of making a movement on wage changes, the university decided to arrest students."

According to reports, UVA President John Casteen had met personally with the students earlier that day to discuss some proposals about increasing UVA’s minimum wage, but later that evening he had apparently had enough.

At about 7pm, police moved in swiftly and physically removed the 17 students, who had been denied food during the four-day ordeal, and took them in handcuffs to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail

In a statement released Sunday, Casteen said that "it was important to bring this sit-in to a conclusion so that others might get back to work on Monday morning. The university takes no pleasure in having to arrest its own students, but it was time for the disruption to come to an end."

The 17 students are expected to be released Monday morning.

3 comments

UVA Prez Casteen employs a rather shallow excuse for breaking off negotiations and resorting to arrests of the Living Wage students (see uvalivingwage.net).
The sit-in took place in the large reception area, a place that is ordinarily quite empty.
As someone who had to work in that building on one of the days of the sit-in, I was not encumbered at all by the Living Wage students. More disruptive were Casteen's staff who couldn't seem to relax at the sight of 17 peaceful students studying in the Madison Hall waiting area. Pres. Casteen set a policy for Madison Hall that prohibited anyone of us who had "permission" to be in the building from speaking to the students or to get anywhere near them, under threat of arrest. Casteen's excuse for sending the students to jail seems rather scurrilous as the students sitting-in at Madison Hall weren't blocking any aisles or otherwise encumbering the work flow of the building. Casteen's response to these students was to cut off their food as well as their communications with the outside world. He even went so far as to cut off their wireless internet access, thereby inventing a whole new way for university leaders to suppress free speech.
Guy Lopez
Grad Student - Arts and Sciences

Don't you have books to read or exams to study for? I see that since the AFL-CIO is failing on its own accord, it's recruiting campus leftists who feel that they haven't truly lived the college experience without a sit-in and singing a chorus of Kumbayah to carry the mantle for it in right-to-work states. Frankly, these workers ought to thank John Casteen morning noon and night that he's paying them far more than the market or their skills would otherwise dictate.

I say raise the working wage to $15.00 an hour now. We won't have to go thru the 2008 and 2010 demonstrations. :)

And to offset the cost, raise the tuition of the protesting students.