Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

LAW PROFESSORS AND UNICCO

The UNICCO employees are striking, and the university has asked us not to support them.

This situation reminds me of what Judge Hoeveler said to us last summer when I visited his courtroom as a James Weldon Johnson Fellow: “There will be a moment in your law career when you will be asked to do something wrong, and at that moment you will define yourself.”

I didn’t expect that moment to come this soon.

I will not cross a picket line. My whole family belongs to unions.

Not only is this a strike, but even more, it is a strike by non-unionized employees being harassed because they are trying to form a union. If there was ever a situation where a strike needs support, this is it. And we are being told by the university to do something wrong by going on with business as usual.

I worked for a year as a janitor. It isn’t nice work, but at least where I was, at Boston University, we had a union-and eight years ago started at $10 per hour with benefits as soon as you hit full time.

UNICCO says its average wage is $7.53 per hour; SEIU says it’s lower. And no health benefits.

I will not cross their picket line, and neither should any of you. And be honest with yourself-that is exactly what you will be doing if you step onto the Coral Gables campus.

To the professors and deans of the law school: Your decision to hold class off campus will hugely affect students. Isn’t your greatest responsibility, as members of a highly ethical profession, to provide an example for your students to follow?

It is wrong to cross picket lines. Holding classes off campus would be inconvenient. The profession of law is (or should be) most highly concerned with seeing justice done. Lawyers and law professors should value law and justice before convenience and efficiency, and should be exemplars of both to their students.

Therefore: Professors should hold classes off campus during a strike, despite the inconvenience, to provide an example to students who may be more concerned with grades than doing the right thing.

Did you know that students, as much as we complain, really respect and admire our professors? We stick around and keep paying tuition, don’t we?

You really make a difference in our lives, and have the power to inspire us.

Many people lament that a lot of law students here are only concerned about making money-doing well, not necessarily doing good. If professors ignore their responsibility to hold to the highest moral and ethical standards, aren’t you aiding and abetting that?

ONE OUT-ALL OUT!!!

I urge you to act quickly to do the right thing and either organize classes off campus or make them available online.

Andrew DeWeese

UM Law, 1L

P.S. Didn’t anyone read Justice Breyer’s book, or listen to his lectures? Isn’t this a great chance to participate in “Active Liberty”?

March 3, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.