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Harvard Workers Went On Strike and Won—Here’s How They Did It, and How Students Helped
An op-ed by Collin Poirot `18
. Last night, Harvard University Dining Service (HUDS) workers ratified a new contract with the university following a historic strike that lasted 20 days. “I can report, coming out of our contract ratification meeting, that we achieved every goal without exception,” said Brian Lang, president of UNITE HERE Local 26, the union represented the workers in the negotiations. The contract, which raises the minimum pay for dining workers, requires Harvard to pay for any increases in healthcare co-pays, and provides fair compensation for workers facing seasonal layoffs during the summer, is major victory for HUDS workers and their allies on campus.
Four Steps to Save American Politics
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein.
Donald Trump has taken a battering ram to longstanding political norms -- the unwritten conventions that make governance possible. But even before he decided to run for president, those norms were under assault. Immediately after the election, one of the most pressing questions will be how to restore them. To answer that question, let’s assume what philosophers call a “veil of ignorance.” If we didn’t know whether the president would be Democratic or Republican -- if it could turn out to be Clinton or Trump -- what are the minimal norms on which we might agree? Here are four suggestions.
How Snowden Smartened Up Our Spying
An op-ed by Jack Goldsmith
. Three years ago, the Guardian published the first story based on the huge archive of documents Edward Snowden stole from the National Security Agency while working as an NSA contractor. Then–attorney general Eric Holder’s Justice Department quickly charged Snowden with felonies for theft of government property and mishandling classified information. This May, however, Holder praised Snowden. “I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said. This seems like an improbable claim. Snowden compromised scores of surveillance techniques, representing billions of dollars of investments over many years. U.S. firms that secretly cooperated with government intelligence agencies stopped doing so to the extent they could, and public defiance became the business-compelled norm.
The Boston Globe
Should marijuana use matter in child welfare cases?
Massachusetts child welfare officials are warning that a provision buried deep in the ballot measure to legalize marijuana could effectively tie the hands of social workers entrusted with protecting the state’s most vulnerable children. The little-noticed provision states that parents’ marijuana use, possession, and cultivation can’t be the primary basis for taking away custody — or other parental rights like visitation — unless there is “clear, convincing and articulable evidence that the person’s actions related to marijuana have created an unreasonable danger to the safety” of a child...Elizabeth Bartholet
, a Harvard Law School professor, said she believes the section of the proposed law is comparable to the current standard in child welfare and she said she has no concerns about it. Still, said Bartholet, a child welfare expert, “it does reduce the likelihood that use and even abuse of marijuana would count in and of itself as grounds for state intervention to protect children.”
The New York Times
Nate Parker’s Past Surfaces in Prosecutors’ Investigation of Penn State
As the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Penn State continues to play out in the prosecution of former university officials, state investigators have begun examining whether the school mishandled the case of a student wrestler who went on to become a Hollywood actor and director. The wrestler, Nate Parker, was charged in 1999 with raping a fellow student. Despite his eventual acquittal, the case resurfaced in the fevered run-up to “The Birth of a Nation,” of which Mr. Parker is writer, director and star...“Just because the person to whom he allegedly exposed himself didn’t report it to the police doesn’t matter at all,” said Diane Rosenfeld
, director of the gender violence program at Harvard Law School. “It doesn’t relieve the school of its responsibilities.”
Strike! Harvard Jewish Students Back Union, Citing Labor Roots
Harvard University dining workers are celebrating a victory after a strike that gained them a $35,000 minimum yearly salary and stable health-care costs in their new contract. And Jewish students on campus are, by and large, celebrating with them after taking a prominent role at the forefront of the push to support their demands...At Harvard Law School, a new group, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, formed in the wake of the strike. According to Hannah Belitz
, a third-year law student, its formation reflected “a desire on the part of a number of us to stand in solidarity with students of color and other minority groups in our capacity as Jews.”
The Boston Globe
Admiring law professor’s global photos, recalling life, poetry of C.D. Wright
One of Henry Steiner’s
favorite images from his 50-plus years of taking pictures is of a massive boulder outside a Hindu temple in India. “The scene was all rock and sky, scorching sun, and deep shade, held together and dominated by the imperial boulder,” he writes in his self-published photography book “Eyeing the World.”...“Eyeing the World” features images from Bhutan, Brazil, Cambodia, Egypt, Italy, and Vietnam. When Steiner visited a farming village outside of Hanoi, a group of children stopped to watch him. One boy stood up and thrust his butt out, drawing laughter from his friends. Was it a show for Steiner? Was he being mocked? No matter, it made for a lively picture.