BREAKING: Kenyon Contracts with Controversial Multinational Corporation to Manage Maintenance

Sodexo logo via Wikimedia Commons

The College has announced its decision to outsource the management of its maintenance staff to international management and food services corporation Sodexo. The corporation is based in Paris and employs 413,000 workers in 80 countries. The College hired Sodexo to “manage buildings and grounds operations, including supervision of Kenyon’s skilled trades workers, custodians and ground workers,” according to the Kenyon website.

The College’s release states:

Sodexo will hire the supervisors and administrative employees now employed by Kenyon in the maintenance department. Sodexo offers a comprehensive benefits package, and those employees will experience no wage losses.

The benefits predicted to result from Sodexo’s system include, “more efficient work flow, quality control, and communications.” College President S. Georgia Nugent, the Senior Staff and the trustees support these changes, according to the aforementioned news article.
Already, however, current maintenance department workers have voiced their concerns.  The following all-stu/all-emp was sent Wednesday at 2:46 p.m. and contained a message from Robert Smith, the president of the local union chapter that represents skilled trades workers at Kenyon :

[redacted] [redacted@kenyon.edu]

Dear Kenyon “Community”,

I hope all of you are as sickened by Kenyon’s decision to contract out our jobs to a foreign company with a bad reputation. This company has paid out 100 million dollars in response to lawsuit’s involving sexism and racism since 2005. The skilled trades workers at Kenyon were never approached by Kenyon and asked about cost-saving ideas or concessions. The administration simply waited until June 5th, the very day the workers and supervisors had set up to bargain for a new contract, and it was sprung on us. We are currently exploring our options, but it is sure you will see us marching nearby in the village protesting. Please come out and join us and say “SHAME ON YOU KENYON” and put a stop to this. You and your job may be the next to go.

Sincerely,

Robert Smith

President, UE Local 712

As alluded to in Smith’s email, both workers and activists have criticized Sodexo’s labor policies.  A quick Google search yielded an anti-Sodexo website  sponsored and operated by United Students Against Sweathshops (a grassroots student-run organization that works to organize labor-student solidarity in order to achieve sustainable power for workers).

The allegations against Sodexo referenced by Smith in the above all-stu/all-emp refer to a 2005 class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit emerged over allegations that Sodexo had segregated and withheld promotions from black employees. The case settled for $80 million and prompted Sodexo to display its “string of awards for diversity policy,” according to a 2010 article in the New York Times. The company also touted statistics demonstrating five year increases in minority and female employee presence on the front lines, especially noting female prominence in its managerial ranks.

The Thrill has reached out to senior staff members for comment, as well as representatives of the unionized employees whose management is being contracted to Sodexo. Please stay tuned for updates, including more information on Sodexo and the criticism it has received on college campuses in the past.

80 comments

  • This is important but MIDDLE GROUND IS CLOSING!!!!!! Post about that please??

  • This goes against everything in Kenyon’s “community” mantra. Seriously, shame on Kenyon. How are we to develop strong ties with the people who work around us, from our peers to the people who maintain the campus around us (like I experienced this past year even with the maintenance workers) when the work is outsourced to a company like this? This is just another example of how the administration clashes with the Kenyon community and student body and it needs to be seriously addressed.

  • I hope it’s not intentional, but a great number of typos have been introduced into the enlarged, easier-to-read version of the email that were not present in the original. It makes the email’s author look a lot less articulate than he actually appears to be.

  • This is ridiculous. First Middle Ground now this?! Even tuition went up!

  • “But but but you go to the hospital for the doctors…”-the nuge

    This has been a shameful, shameful year for Kenyon College labor relations. UE local 712 has sent out a follow up allstu/allemp further articulating their grievances.

  • awkward, my dad’s name is the same as this guy’s name #commonlastnameproblems

  • who do I contact to express my utmost disgust, shame, and disappointment?

  • Well the Kenyon maintenance and support staff really couldn’t be more inefficient, so maybe this is a good thing? On the list of everything the Kenyon Administration fucks up this seems low. Maybe it will actually decrease costs and let the school spend money on better things.

    • Inefficient? Have you never called Maintenance to reset your circuit breaker, unplug your commode, solve your heat/cold issue, just to name a few? Have you ever done maintenance in your lifetime? Do you know which end of a screwdriver to hang onto? I believe you are about to find out just what “inefficient” means. As part of the support staff, I take issue with your comment that this might be a good thing. The people you speak of are human beings, many, if not all, with families. Some are single bread winners for their families. The loss of benefits, retirement, vacation/sick pay and, very possibly, lower wages, is enormous and extremely devastating to them and to those who rely on them for a roof over their heads, paying the bills and putting food on the table. Your lack of compassion of what this change means to Maintenance Staff is utterly disgusting. Live their life for just one day and tell me if you still feel the school can spend the money saved on better things. You should be ashamed of yourself!

    • I agree with Barb. What you’ve posted is shameful. I hope that one of the things we do at Kenyon is to teach students to question hierarchies and privilege. Clearly, we have not always been successful.

      • I would not say it is shameful, but it lacks the “sensitivity” and “compassion” times like these seem to require. Overall, everyone has different perceptions of what it means to be part of the Kenyon family. Approximately 20 folks this time are impacted. They are representative of the millions worldwide being impacted by bloated debt levels due to overly liberal social programs. The pendulum is swinging back towards the middle and the end is still not in sight with student and commercial property debt. By the way … Why do colleges refer to student loans as Financial Aide? It is anything but.

    • I will graduate from Kenyon with about 80 grand in student loans. I plan to pay these off through hard work and the skills and knowledge i gain through an education at Kenyon. I have no problem with reduced pay or benefits (If that is even the case. It appears that that is yet to be determined) for college employees who spend the majority of their time “cleaning” the dorms watching soap operas in the lounge, as i have witnessed frequently over the course of my two years on campus. If i behaved this way at my summer job i would be fired. As for the workers who don’t do this, blame those who slack off and get mad at them. Perhaps if the current system was more efficient and/or cost less it wouldnt have to be replaced. Thats how markets work. We are in a recession. People’s salaries get cut. Both of my parents are self employed and now make less money than before the recession as their companies are doing worse due to the decrease in demand throughout the economy. This has nothing to do with compassion, just harsh realities outside of the bubble.

      @Barb. I do know how to use a screwdriver and a large variety of power and hand tools in fact. Thanks for stereotyping me though! Really makes me want to be more “compassionate” towards you.

      @Janet. So you want to develop free thinkers so long as they agree with you? And if not you will call them names until they are shamed into either agreeing or shutting up? Nice to see the trademark liberal tolerance at work.

      • Kenyon 80's Alumni

        I am the Anonymous Kenyon 80’s Alumni from earlier (just to keep us Anonymous posters straight) I am not without alot of compassion for the workers that are subject to the “change in employer” problem, despite a few dispersions re my humanity and argumenta ad hominem (“how dare you…”)

        But the issue that is not being addressed by the outraged proponents of keeping the current labor structure in place is justification. Justification for a system that gives Kenyon’s workers rights and protections available to very few people in this economy, rights and protections that have disappeared from the private sector, and are under attack in the government sector as well. I dare say these rights and protections will not be available to anyone graduating from Kenyon, and to very few who pay the bills. That brings me to the big point – “Those who pay the Bills” Those bills are paid by students and family, and parents. Either right now, or over the course of the next 20 years (or however long the student loans go) You need to justify the continuance of illogical and unfair system to the ones who bear the burden of paying the bills, to the tune of 54,000 a year (plus interest).

        (216,000 at 4.5%, for 20 years means paying back $1,366.52 per month, for a total $327,965.83 and Total Interest Paid: $111,965.83). If the rate is 6.8%, then $1,648.81 per month, for a total of $395,716.13 and Total Interest Paid: $179,716.13)

        And that’s before graduate school, and a mortgage. And student loans are non-discharable in bankruptcy, so they will never go away.

        So please explain why Kenyon’s work force should be more protected than almost anyone else.

      • Very good post. I feel for your generation. College used to be something that was affordable. Now going into debt to the tune of $300K is considered “financial aid”! times have changed.

      • So glad to hear you are a master with hand/power tools! I had nothing to do with stereotyping you as you accomplished that feat totally on your own, thank you very much. And it is not I who requires your compassion. That would be the employees of Maintenance–you know, the people you spoke so highly of in your first posting? You have a right to your opinion, as we all do. However, taking away people’s livlihoods without batting an eye must be challenged.

      • It is lost on me why compassion is required in this. It was a business decision based on hard numbers. The 30 or so people that will be employed by Sodexo priced themselves out of a job. The school we all love, to survive, needed to make this decision. That is where unions are useless, as these folks, unfortunately, found out. Do I “feel” for these folks? Sure! But that doesn’t resolve anything.

  • @Colin Walker: Office of Annual Giving? It seems to be one of the only places the administration has a semi-open ear…

    @Anonymous 7 June 2012 2:40PM: I currently live in Europe and Sodexo is a player in many operations and I’ve not encountered any that isn’t inefficient and prone to fraud/corruption. They also have a fairly poor track record of timeliness of services here. Real life example, a client to me: “Those checks I need to pay you with? I ordered them 3 weeks ago. I hope I’ll get them soon, but it may be another two weeks…”
    Can’t say I think it’s a good idea, community relations aside.

  • You should allstu/allemp this – reach more people that way.

  • There should be some sort of student-backed movement (emails, perhaps, to members of the administration/people who made this decision?) expressing our disgust for this decision.

  • Obey the Nugent regime!

    This was a no brainer from someone as cold and heartless as Georgia “Commandant” Nugent. Strategically identifying people we can eliminate from our maintenance department lowers our costs, and, therefore, she can increase her salary by a portion of what we would have paid local Mt Vernon natives.

    The Nugent Regime is continuing on its revolution from the inside–purging critics, and consolidating her base of power by planting the board with muppet yes men and filling her ranks with stooges like Alicia Dugas and Hank Toutain.

    This is exactly why it’s good that Kenyon people at Kenyon aren’t like Princeton people!

    • Concerned Student #2

      I can’t tell if this is unfunny satire or legitimate idiocy, but I’ll assume it as the latter. Hank Toutain a ‘stooge’? How incredibly wrong you are.

      If this is the direction campus discourse is heading on contentious issues then we have MUCH larger problems than Sodexo.

      Cut the hyperbole and the silly pseudo-revolutionary invective. Try to examine this issue like an intelligent thinking person, not some jerk with a ‘Che’ shirt.

      • I completely agree with the above. Hank Toutain and Alicia Dugas aren’t “stooges.” I don’t agree with the Sodexo decision either but sounding your “call to arms” doesn’t make it any better.

    • Please concentrate on the very serious issue at hand. If you want Stooges, turn on your TV. You are simply continuing to violate very good and upstanding people (Hank & Alicia), and our staff, which brings us all here to begin with. If you can’t say something constructive, please refrain from commenting.

  • Kenyon 80's Alumni

    Kenyon costs 54,000 a year. It cost me about 8,000 a year. Currently the country is in a deep recession, and is unlikely to exit it any time soon. Real estate values gone, investments gone, Job security gone. My 14 year old can’t get a job bagging groceries because that job is now taken by an adult. The recession has just about killed my business, and I have spent almost all my savings and retirement keeping bread on the table, and the doors of my business open, hoping that things will turn around before I run out of money. As much as I love Kenyon, I will never be able to afford to send my kids there, and I imagine my situation is not uncommon. So, when I read the complaints, both union and otherwise, about Kenyon hiring Sodexo, which the school is probably doing to save money, I wonder if anyone of the people raising the red flag here have any connection to current reality? Do you pay bills? Are you salaried? Or do you have to write the check to yourself? Do you have a pension (luxury!) or a 401(k)? Do you sit on a bench on Middle Path, and wonder just what the heck you are going to do for your next mortgage payment? Do you lie awake at night fearing what the future holds? Or do you sip your organically grown sustainable coffee in a biodegradable hemp cup and think about how ridiculous it is for the administration to contract with Sodexo? I loved my years on the Hill, but, holy cow, pay attention to what’s happening to the rest of the country! That knucklehead Gov. Walker survived the recall for a reason, and its not because Wisconsonites have been backing Republicans recently. There ain’t no money no more. Big, huge, icky changes have to be made, including doing things like shifting the financial and adminstrative burden of healthcare, payroll and retirement out. If I can’t get a guranteed salary and benefit package, why should a union member? Shouldn’t everyone be subject to the same market forces?

    • Sympathetic Current Student

      Thanks for this sobering and realistic response–it’s certainly one thing to complain when an institution (read: business) such as Kenyon has to make hard financial decisions, another entirely to stand up for that institution despite harrowing financial times. As students, we should be happy that these decisions don’t involve a 25% tuition hike, a decrease in financial aid, or the firing of a dozen professors. The realities of recession have to be dealt with in one way or another, and ultimately someone is going to be put in a bad position. Those invaluable maintenance workers whose positions with Kenyon have been spared, and who will be receiving the “comprehensive benefits” and “no wage losses” that the College promises–and why would it lie about this?–should be thankful to be steadily employed during our current economic status. As a student receiving a significant amount of need-based aid from Kenyon, I fully appreciate the amount of generosity that the College has been able to offer to its students to allow those of lower-income families to attend, despite economic conditions. I also fully appreciate the sacrifices, albeit involuntarily, that the Kenyon maintenance staff may make in order to ensure the financial feasibility of this institution.

      @CommandantNugent, please grow up and realize that these issues are not the black-and-white caricatures of society that you watched on television as an impressionable prepubescent.

      • Nothing specific, or definite, has been said about this being a cost-cutting measure. In fact, the College has not made any comment about whether or not this would cut costs. In addition, your faith that the College “wouldn’t lie about this” is a little bit disturbing.. losing just the GLCA tuition benefit would certainly affect employees’ salaries in a negative way.

      • Sympathetic Current Student

        I apologize for the hasty assumption. I assume it’s equally feasible that the College is making this decision simply to garner bad press.

    • My heavens ! kenyon’s a 1%er ! OCCUPY KENYON ! Nugent probably sent money to keep anti-union governor Walker in Office in Wisconsin. Is the heat bill in the new “Glass House”(athletic center) causing all this…..while it kills the whales? Frackin good time on the Hill,huh?

    • Concerned Student #2

      While it’s true that we don’t know if this is a cost-cutting measure or not, I would think it most likely is. As Professor Schubel and Professor Smith mentioned in their E-Mails we should wait for the college to provide a statement or an explanation before we fully make up our minds on this issue.

      Kenyon students have a deep responsibility to hold our institution accountable. That includes administrators and professors. We owe it to ourselves to let both sides make their cases and make an informed decision after more information has been offered. I understand this is an emotionally charged issue — especially given Governor Walker’s recent victory in Wisconsin — but it’s not black/white (Unions: GOOD, Corporations: EVIL) like some would have you believe.

  • “If I can’t get a guranteed salary and benefit package, why should a union member? Shouldn’t everyone be subject to the same market forces?”

    Really? You write your entire comment about how hard it is to find a job with a good pension and insurance, and now you think it’s totally fine and maybe even desirable for us to support getting rid of that for people who already have it, work hard for the College, and have done so for YEARS? How on earth have you reached the conclusion that because you don’t have something, others don’t deserve it and should therefore be GLAD it’s getting taken away? Not to mention your clear contempt for unions, somehow someone in a union deserves to have a stable income and benefits package LESS than you?

  • I personally just don’t know what’s going on. I’ve read the article and I’ve read the comments. I still don’t know whether or not to be outraged. Do we have enough information at this point to form a collective opinion or even two opposing opinions? What’s going on???

    • I have to completely agree with you. On one side we have a fairly silent administration, at least to this point. One must hope that they come forward with more news. On the other hand we have people who are very angry about this change. I understand the anger, but without any ACTUAL DATA (caps used in place of italics), we’re really just playing the fun game of HATING CHANGE (caps used because I’m yelling, sort of).

      • One thing we DO know is that the college has hired a corporation that is a notorious human rights violator.

  • There is most certain many layers, facets and the unknowns that those on the outside looking in are not privy of knowing. However, speaking from a side of working for a corporate organization for 17 years, there is certainly no surprise, shock and awe as I heard the news of this decision to in essence “outsource” this service within “an organization”. After all, the last that I knew Kenyon College is a private institution in the business to make money, therefore, as a CFO of said organization, and certain with their successful cost cutting measures attaching to their own self a hefty % of a bonus,certain job security for “themselves” or at least while the President of the University remains, until a new President someday takes over and cleans house and brings in their own. (side note: anyone familiar with Kenyon college has seen or experienced this type of transition with the changing of the guard so to speak). The hard lesson, and perhaps awakening, and enlightenment here is that EVERYONE IS AN EXPENDABLE COMMODITY. I do feel for some of the employees affected by this change and transition. As with any workplace, you have good hardworking employees who deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. However, you also have the employees who learn to play the system, do just what is required or less to get by. While I believe that Unions in our country were formed for all of the right reasons in the beginning, ensuring safe and humane work environments for workers across our nation, in many of today’s union environments, you (meaning a supervisor or front line manager) are NEVER able to weed out the unproductive, negative seeded employees that drag a department down. Grievance filings over silly and meaningless incidents that warrant no more than the paper it is written on. On a final note however, a question that I pose that I am privy to know as fact, why would the college invest tens of thousands of dollars less than one year ago to restructure and reorganize an organization and waste those monies spent? Additionally, I find it funny that the person in charge of the Maintenance Department, and Administrative Staff would have job security and guaranteed salary freezes of their wages. Where is the accountability at the top of this Departments food chain whom would have had control over efficiency and implementation of cost effective measures before this escalated to the level in which the College went the route of outsourcing…Sounds like many being made the scapegoat of the ones in charge.

  • Dear Thrill writers,

    Thanks so much for writing this article. However, I would strongly encourage you to contact Mark Kohlman, Kenyon’s Chief Business Officer, for more information AND to post whether or not he agrees to comment. As a recent alum, I have been disappointed with many of Kenyon’s recent business decisions, which arguably have been made for cost cutting purposes. While I understand the necessity for creative cost cutting options in this economy, what is most outrageous to me is how these decisions were made. It is not uncommon for Kenyon’s administrators to make business decisions without the input of the student body, faculty, or staff. So much for “community”. So if you are angry about this decision, email Mark Kohlman, or if you are returning to campus in the fall, organize a sit-in at his office one day to demand more transparency and demand students and staff have a say in these issues too. Isn’t this why we have student government committees, like Housing and Dining? Were any of these students asked for their input? Was Campus Senate, which is comprised of faculty and students asked for their input? In addition, if they are outsourcing maintenance, Safety and Security could be next when their contract is up. They just voted to unionize.

    Thanks Thrill writers for keeping us informed during the summer months!

    • Mark Kohlman is among the senior staff members we have contacted with questions. He has indicated that he intends to answer them.

    • Great comment. This seems to be the trend: announcing decisions that come to great shock and surprise to those affected. Gund Gallery management being another. Some of these decisions might be accepted more easily if there was more management. I miss the reign of Robert Oden. He made a lot of good things happen and understood the Kenyon community.

  • In 2010 Sodexo paid a $20 million fraud settlement for ripping off the NY public colleges

    http://www.falseclaimscounsel.com/wordpress/?p=850

    It just gets worse and worse

  • who cares about the middle ground, bring back the red door!

  • Can’t verify this, but word on the hill is that Kenyon has not finalized a contract with Sodexo. There may still be time to stop this! Spreading the word of this ill-informed decision must be done quickly. It is intentional that this announcement was made when most students and many faculty are off campus. Please communicate your concern. Beyond the devastating impact on all Kenyon employees in the Maintenance Department, the college’s close association with embattled Sodexo will damage Kenyon’s reputation for years to come.

  • First, I spend every weekend in Gambier. Second, I am not an alum of Kenyon. Third, my job is to direct multiple departments in a school district including Building and Grounds and Custodial in another part of the state. I provide this to give some background for my comment.

    Being familiar withe the campus I can see it is a VERY costly place to maintain. Older buildings, though attractive, can be a nightmare to keep upgraded and maintained. Responding to maintenance emergencies

  • Let’s all stop whining about Middle Ground and talk about the maintenance workers and their plight. One of the worst things about the Sodexo deal is that the workers lose Kenyon College benefits. This include the tuition remission program that allows their children to go to schools in the GLCA for a discounted cost. With the loss of their benefits, their children will either have to cough up the thousands of dollars the schools charge each year or drop out.
    As the child of a Kenyon employee (thank god not in the Maintenance dept) and recipient of these benefits I understand their plight. If LBIS decided to outsource to some international IT firm, I would have to drop out of Kenyon. –Tristan Neviska

  • … can be problematic.

    Having said that, I would be very surprised if senior management didn’t review all their options prior to making this decision including the anger that would naturally result. There is obviously more to this than the surface story we are all discussing. One thing I am unsure of, though some have stated it as certainty – will folks actually lose their jobs over this? If so, how many and what positions? What is the total gross cost of the contract vs. the total gross cost of the environment it is replacing? What efficiencies will this vendor put in place that current union folks are unable or unwilling to exercise?

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I put an RFP out to privatize one part of the operation I oversee last year. After receiving the bids I determined it was better to work with what I had, provide professional development to the staff, let the union know I would do it again should they not perform up to the objective standards I put in place, and then watch and evaluate. This past year was sporadic – had to terminate and replace a few folks, but overall those that got with the program can look at job security and a better work environment for at least the next three years. One thing that is self evident is there is no guarantee of a lifetime job for anyone! Folks better keep their resume fresh and their skill sets updated. That is the one thing union members (I was president of mine 20 years ago) have the hardest time grasping. People expect to maintain status quo with shrinking resources. Unions cannot protect against that harsh reality.

  • I just have to say, I think that this is one of the first Kenyon Thrill posts I’ve enjoyed reading (not for the content, but for the actual writing of the article itself). Amen for actual journalistic work by the Thrill staff. This is probably the second time I’ve been able to read one of these posts without cringing.

    On another note, I’m glad to see the numerous comments that are well reasoned-out (you’re drowning out the idiots on here, folks!). Reading them has been extremely informative.

  • This is a tough one. On the one hand, the maintenance crew at Kenyon really sucks…they constantly screw up work orders and generally don’t seem to care much, and this is partially because they are union guys who had a good contract with Kenyon that makes it extremely difficult for union workers to be fired. On the other hand, they are local people who depend on Kenyon to make a decent living, and some of them are good guys…I fondly remember having my door smashed during a party, and talking to some maintenance guys about it who had a laugh and didn’t charge me the exorbitant fees Kenyon charges for damaging a crappy plywood door. So, I’m going to say VIVA LA REVOLUCION, WORKERS UNITE against Sodexo.

  • If there is a reasonable and compassionate spin for this story, the administration is not getting out in front of it very intelligently. This does not make them look good. On the contrary, it makes the admin look really shabby and underhanded. Maybe they outsourced the PR folks too, and the offices of CollegePR4Cheep in Taiwan who now call the shots aren’t on it yet? Oh, that would never happen? Priorities!

  • Who's managing???

    If this is a cost cutting measure, why did Faculty receive such huge salary increases just months ago? Are we needing to cut back or are the costs of the college riding on the backs of the staff?

  • Has there been any response from Kenyon faculty? There are many alums monitoring this story who don’t have access to campus e-mail.

    • There have been some responses. We are currently seeking the permission of these faculty members to repost their allstus.

  • Stephen Van Holde

    I am a Kenyon faculty member, and you certainly are free to use my allstu on this site.

    Sincerely, Steve Van Holde

  • Before this decision was made, the decision about the salary pools for the year was made. This decision caused an outcry because it made many staff members feel unappreciated. Meetings were held, emails were sent out and in an effort to come to a satisfactory conclusion President Nugent indicated that there would be a compensation study to ensure everyone is being compensated comparatively. While this study is still in its beginning stages, what is happening with the maintenance department could very well be a foreshadowing of similar decisions to come in other departments as well.
    In all the meetings and emails that were sent out, President Nugent did her best to make one point very clear. ALL the staff at Kenyon are appreciated. In one email it was even stated that “Everyone at the College makes an important contribution. The Boards of Trustees, the administration and I are fully aware of that reality.” Yet even after stating that, ironically enough, in an email that began by thanking the grounds crew for all their hard work, they made the decision to outsource their jobs.
    While President Nugent assures us that staff will be able to make their voices heard in an open forum with the consultant, one has to question whether or not our voices really matter. Kenyon did not go into the meeting with trades with negotiation in mind. They were just told they were being kicked out of the Kenyon community and there wasn’t anything they could do about it as their contract was up. While President Nugent might say that her “concern for our Kenyon community is not just a matter of numbers” it definitely does seem to be bottom line in this latest decision. Can you really say that you are an “advocate for the staff” when you just made the decision to do away with their jobs? When you are not willing to pay out the time off they have earned? When they lose the benefits so many of them count on? It would be a hard reality to face for anyone especially after all the speeches on how everyone is appreciated. After holding a recognition ceremony where everyone’s hard work was “recognized” and where members of this particular dept were thanked for their 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and even 40 years of service and hard work that they have given to this college and community. This decision truly does seem to discredit Kenyon especially in light of recent events and worry one about what the future may hold for other Kenyon positions.

    • Maybe read the recent book,”Higher? Education”. I actually found a copy in what used to be the Kenyon Bookstore but is now an ice cream parlor. Kenyon is mentioned often in the book,not in a favorable way. Priorities are out of wack, costs exploding & education seems secondary to fun stuff. And have you seen that Alumn Bulletin?!? What TRIPE.

      • The whole concept of “giving” years of service is misleading and causes emotional reaction. Each week we work for an employer we get paid. That is the only contract we have between an employer and employee. I don’t believe anyone is saying Kenyon hasn’t paid them for the time worked. I know it sounds cold, but that is the reality and folks get caught up with what the employer should do. The employer is obligated to keep costs in line. When they do not then there is friction. With the economy going as it is in the world all countries are experiencing economic implosion in their ability to maintain the status quo. The only time employers are compassionate is in good times. These are not good times. Folks that think unions protect them in bad times are mistaken. When the money runs out the unions have no control just as the employer has no control. And in education … A service industry … the largest percentage of the budget is wages. So guess what is the first thing looked at? And places of education MUST have academic staff or they cease existing. So guess which groupis the LAST to be looked at?

  • Pingback: Kenyon to Host Pubic Forum on Sodexo « The Thrill

  • Melanie Shelton

    Hey everyone, here’s a petition to support our staff and ALL of the Kenyon community, not just some of us.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/kenyon-college-stop-kenyon-from-partnering-with-sodexo

  • The Kenyon Administration needs to speak up! Now!

  • I wish it was all a dream

  • Pingback: Recruit Female Employees, Get Paid More-Corporates. Feminists? « Ramani's blog

  • Good day! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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