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Guest Column: Outsourcing Aggies

Gabriel Clark: A&M should take care of its own, including staff

Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07

Outsourcing

James Thompson — THE BATTALION

University staff listen as System Chancellor John Sharp speaks about outsourcing plans on Feb. 29. The Student Senate will consider a bill about outsourcing during its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Koldus Governance Room.

There was a meeting on March 21 in Rudder Theatre about “Outsourcing Custodial and Dining Staff at Texas A&M University.” As I sat in the room filled with hundreds of people — among whom were University President R. Bowen Loftin, Associate Provost for Diversity Christine Stanley and two custodians who I have known for majority of my college career — I listened to several heart-breaking testimonies.

These testimonies demonstrated how detrimental outsourcing will be if System Chancellor John Sharp allows this plan to move forward. The custodial and dining staffs are at risk of losing their jobs at this very moment. Why should you care? Many of these workers — 97 percent of whom are racial minorities — have gone beyond what was asked of them. The two custodians I have known since my sophomore year have always demonstrated hard work with a smile on each of their faces. These women have worked for the University for almost 30 years.

If this plan of “outsourcing” follows through, both could lose all their benefits, not to mention the retirement that they deserve. Many others face similar uncertainty after decades of service to the A&M faculty and student body.

If we call ourselves Aggies, I believe we are obligated — as students, cadets, faculty, and staff — to take a stand and let our voices be heard. We make Texas A&M University. It is not the other way around.

Join me, and we will take a stand caring for our Aggie family. Do your part by spreading the word and letting these staff members know that we care about them just as much as they care about us.

We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we.

 

Gabriel Clark is a senior psychology major

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