Final Exercises, 2012
Today marks the final exercises for the University of Virginia’s graduating class of 2012. The Living Wage Campaign congratulates all graduates for their hard work and accomplishment.
However, for many graduates, their celebrations of graduation are marred by the knowledge that the University which granted their degrees still does not pay living wages to hundreds of its lowest-paid employees, including contract workers. Traditionally, graduates of UVa are entitled to say “I have worn the honors of Honor, I graduated from Virginia,” referencing the University’s famed Honor Code. However, one fourth-year graduating today suggested that the traditional saying should be rewritten thus: “I have NOT worn the honors of Honor, I have participated in the exploitation of workers in exchange for a ticket to the middle class, I graduated from Virginia.”
Graduating members and supporters of the Living Wage Campaign wore flyers on their mortarboards which read “UVa: Educate, Don’t Exploit. Living Wage Now.” It is the sincere hope of the Living Wage Campaign that the University will rise to its own standards of honor and pay all of its employees a living wage.