The University of Iowa Student Government applauds the agreement reached between the Director of the Labor Center and Dean Washburn of the College of Law this Tuesday. We are proud to have taken a stand as an organization in support of this indispensable community organization last semester through Senate Resolution 4, in which we called on university administrators “to reevaluate its decision to close the Labor Center and recommit funds to guarantee […] access to critical education and research on workplace rights and labor issues for generations to come.” We would like to specifically thank Director of Justice and Equity Alex Bare, Senate Justice and Equity Committee Chair Anger Dok, and Senator Carolina Herrera for their work on their efforts to support the Labor Center this year.
Iowa’s workers come from both urban and rural backgrounds and represent a broad array of ethnic/national origins and professions. Often, minimum and low-wage workers, struggle to support families, pay rent, and access basic goods and services. At a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric is becoming emboldened, the services of the Labor Center are all the more important. By achieving a sustainable, 4-year transition to an alternative funding source, the Labor Center’s lights will be kept on, and the education and advocacy they provide on behalf of Iowa workers will continue. We want to take time to recognize this as a victory for student activists, workers, labor organizers, our university, and our community.
To students, this should remind you yet again that your voice matters. Thank you to all who joined us, and we look forward to the future of the Labor Center at Iowa.