At times I felt completely lost, trying to ask these people to share their thoughts. It’s not like asking someone which cheese is their favorite, or whether they prefer Marvel or DC. It’s a very fresh scar, this issue of outsourcing. I’m ambivalent. On one hand, my positionality has helped me to better understand an issue that runs deeper than I had ever imagined, and than most students have imagined. On the other hand, ignorance is bliss. I spoke to several individuals – some were willing, others half-so, most not at all. I can say I understand how it feels not to know what the future holds. But this is a different existence in its entirety. Many of these staff members are dreading the future and living through that dread every single day.
I think most of us as students view ourselves as experiencing Wooster outside of these issues. It’s a matter of ‘Lowry food is gross’, or, ‘the custodians have stopped cleaning our bathrooms. I pay 70K a year to go to this school…’ But we are just as human as these people are. And they exist in our community the same way we do. It’s ridiculous to assume that the dining and custodial staff, most of whom have been employed by the College for over a decade, would just forgo our needs as students. A common sentiment amongst those who I spoke to was ‘we care about the students. We want to help.’ And there is a very apparent hurt within this specific part of our community as a whole. Not only because of the outsourcing, but at the general lack of care from the student body especially. Scot Council has done virtually nothing. This is not meant to be a jab at the students within Scot Council, but it is the reality that they are, as their purpose on the College website states, “the collective voice of the student body…” I’ve been reflecting very heavily as well on the culture of discourse in our community. Everything that is discussed is done so because it is trending. True to the definition of a ‘topic of interest’, that is all that this sensitive matter is to many people.
I felt the same, but it’s something very different when you hear these experiences straight from the source. I cannot help but feel this restlessness, this sense of foreboding and just… dread. I know that at this point, it is virtually too late to overturn any decision the College has made. Many staff members kept referring to the same exact situation in 2012. In their reflections, many of those that shared this information remembered this moment in time as equally hard, but they also recalled with much fondness just how many students were behind them, supporting them and standing with them. Now, 10 years later, history is repeating itself. But it is never too late to highlight the importance of this matter. The true weight of living that has come upon multiple members of our community, even beyond the walls of the College of Wooster. And now more than ever, support is valued and needed.