BREAKING NEWS:Berea College undergraduates are advocating for an election to establish a…

Berea College students are calling for the formation of a student worker union on campus, hosting a rally on Thursday afternoon in hopes of garnering support from the administration.
My experience in the workplace has been that health and safety are not always a priority. I know a lot of my coworkers feel the same way,” Andi Mellon, a Berea student, said on Thursday.

Students petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in hopes of hosting a union election on campus by the end of the semester.

“Our message is it is pro-Berea to be pro-union,” Mellon said.
Administrators have countered with legal representation, arguing that allowing unionization would contradict the school’s work-study foundation. In a response to Thursday’s rally, the college stated that while they respect students’ right to express their views, unionization is not viable at Berea due to its status as a federally regulated Work College. Unlike other institutions where students may be hired as employees, Berea’s model involves students participating in a work-learning-service program, typically for 10 hours per week, and receiving fully funded tuition and financial support for meals, housing, and other expenses in the form of scholarships.
University president, Cheryl Nixon, has responded to the NLRB petition via a website dedicated to the issue. According to the site, she plans to meet with students to discuss their concerns.

Student workers and faculty members spoke at Thursday’s rally, calling on the university to change course.
We’re trying to get people informed on what we’re doing and we would really like to get the College to drop the challenges with the NLRB and start collaborating with us right now so we can have our election this semester,” Mellon said.

An NLRB hearing on the petition is scheduled for April 17.

According to the CWA, if students were to unionize, it would become just the second union in the country to represent an entire undergraduate population.

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