Lesley University, Fulfill Lesley Students' Basic Human Needs

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Our reply to administration

The Lesley administration posted a response (linked here) to our petition on December 7th, 2021 that outlined actions that have supposedly been taken to resolve several of the issues addressed in the student demands. Students, we hear you. We agree that this response was not all-encompassing, entirely truthful, or transparent. Many students (including ourselves) are incensed by the administration’s lack of accountability. The statement demonstrates no regard for the emotional toll these issues have taken on the student body. We are owed an apology and more. We present the following response comprised of questions and additional/updated demands in reply to the administration’s message:  On the issue of Washburn Dining Hall: Any figures the university presents for the grab-and-go meals are not accurate as for the past three weekends, the doors to the dining hall have had to be unlocked by Public Safety on behalf of students. There is not access to food if it is behind locked doors. This issue has been ongoing since grab-and-go meals first “became available.” When did this so-called “experiment” of more extensive dinner services take place? Why weren’t students notified of the results of the “experiment” during the months we have been asking for food? This language feels purposely ambiguous. It is the job of dining services to account for food waste when preparing meals. There is no reason why a dining hall should not be open seven days a week for three meals a day. Students are paying thousands of dollars for these services and the university has failed to deliver them. The GrubHub offer, while helpful, still requires students to purchase food out of pocket. This is not a solution to food insecurity on a campus with a mandatory meal plan. On the issue of water: There is photographic evidence of brown water occurring on both Lesley Campuses this past semester. We have been lied to before and will not take the university at its word. The term “regularly” is non-specific and could refer to testing from once a month to once a year. All documentation regarding potability of water, fire safety checks, building inspections, work orders, etc. should be publicly available to students, faculty, and staff. As stated, White Hall continues to lack access to running water in the lounge sinks with maintenance having been scheduled over winter break. Regardless of this fact, water was shut off without warning and drinking water was not offered by the University until White Hall CAs graciously bought bottled water for their residents last week. Only then were water coolers supplied by the University.  We are concerned that the University has not provided White Hall with enough drinking water. The hall was provided with 8, 4-gallon jugs of water for approximately 90 students on Friday 12/3/21. When divided evenly, this supplies a total of just 45oz of water per person divided over the course of almost a week. For reference, the average bottle of water is 16 oz. As of 10 AM on Thursday 12/9/21, no further deliveries of water have been made to White Hall. On the issue of understaffing/vacant positions It is very clear that Public Safety is understaffed. This negatively impacts response times, availability of officers at desks, and hours of operation for buildings. For example, Lunder Arts Center is still only staffed with Public Safety officers from 7-10pm while Lunder is open from 8am until midnight. This has been a request students have had for months. Within its statement, administration instructs commuter students to email commuterservices@lesley.edu. But the position of Director of Commuter Services has been vacant for at least two semesters. This must be rectified as soon as possible.  On the issue of COVID-19We have never been able to get a clear answer as to who is responsible for managing COVID-19 on our campus and the university’s statement on this issue is completely, knowingly, unintelligible. “Senior administration, General Counsel, infectious disease and other experts” does not suffice. We want named figures to provide timely, credible, and consistent information about the state of health on our campus. These demands are in line with best practices for health communication during a pandemic. On the issue of budgetary transparency The expectation that students analyze 70 pages worth of 990 forms in order to conceptualize the university’s budget is absurd and insulting when we know that simpler financial documents already exist as records within the university. Administration’s unwillingness to share the breakdown of the budget is very suspicious. Other updates: The Undergraduate Student Government has created a feedback form (Linked here: https://forms.gle/JfhwrQLgxf2er9Kd6) that any student can use to report their concerns and/or issues. This form can be completed anonymously and will be checked daily. A protest in response to the administration's reply has been planned for today 12/9/21 from 2-4pm at 1627 Massachusetts Ave. Further information and updates can be found on instagram @justiceforlesleyworkers Please continue to share this petition with your networks! The more signatures we receive, the more pressure we can apply.

Lesley Students
7 months ago