Hundreds of Stanford RAs stage massive strike weeks before classes start

Hundreds of assistant residents, or RAs, at Stanford University are on strike, less than two weeks before the bachelor arrives on campus – a massive student action that can throw the welcome carpet for the incoming window.

The student worker action comes two days after at least one RA tested positive for COVID-19 after days of eight hours, indoors, training in person, according to a letter RAs sent to university officials. first found at Stanford Daily and share with SFGATE. Other RAs were allegedly not informed that there was a COVID-positive RA until the individual student worker informed them of their diagnosis.

The positive test seemed to strike in action, after student organizers threatened to strike starting Wednesday night if demands made by student workers were not met. Among the RA demands were higher pay, virtual RA training beyond registration and more student input on residential alcohol and drug use policy.

“We cannot care for our residents when you are actively forcing us into conditions that directly threaten our emotional and physical health,” reads the letter from the Stanford Student Collective Action Against Residential Education (SCAARE), the organization that will organize the strike.

“Particularly for those of us who are immunocompromised, you forced us to make an impossible choice: either we risk attending another potential superspreader event, or we are left without training as you continue to refuse to provide a hybrid or virtual option for staff training.”

A representative for SCAARE told SFGATE that RAs are expected by Stanford “to pay for work” – as the cost of rooms and tables in Stanford dormitories is about $ 7,000 more than how much they pay, without taking into account three weeks of training and ninth grade. orientation.

“The university is exploiting us,” the organization said in an email response to SFGATE. “We have not been fairly rewarded for our work.”

Pat Harris, a university representative, disputes claims that Stanford was not receptive to RAs ’needs, writing in a statement to Stanford Daily that“ open lines of communication between residential staff and the University have long been a key force in residential systems our. . ”

And while the school offered a virtual training Thursday, it appeared as if the action was too small too late – as only a third of 500 or so RAs school staff reported being shown up to the training.

“We were left with no other option but to keep our job until our demands were met,” said SCAARE organizer of the letter.

Representatives for the campus did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.

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