Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, September 20, 2018

Satire: Anderson Hall mice make push to unionize

The revolution is happening — in the walls

Satire: Anderson Hall mice make push to unionize

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

Recently, a surge in Anderson Hall’s mice population has convinced community leaders that the best solution to unite the growing workforce is to unionize.

“Wages are down, and the cost of living is up,” said Anderson Mice United (AMU) President George Camembert. “More than ever, we need to come together as a community and demand the working conditions and wages that reflect the importance of our work. Right now, we just feel like the only time we are being heard is when we run across the ceilings at night.”

A 2017 report commissioned by the University’s Board of Trustees investigated working conditions and wages of American University’s dining and custodial staff, resulting in a complete overhaul of management and a 6 percent increase in wages. Despite this, Anderson mice say it just isn’t enough.

“You have to understand that report only benefited the university’s human workforce,” said Bryan Brie, a resident of Anderson’s third floor and a longtime community activist. “But what about us? The last time we showed up at a board meeting to protest, they called an exterminator.”

Lisa Feta, a single mom who lives on the fourth floor behind a 32-inch Vizio TV with her three children, echoed Brie’s sentiments.

“Last month, I barely made rent,” Feta said. “After an eight hour day of tormenting freshmen, I shouldn’t have to worry about having enough crumbs to put on the table to feed my children.”

Not all Anderson mice agree with Brie and Feta, however. A survey put out by AMU opposition group MPAC (Mice Political Action Committee), found that 35 percent of AU mice were not in favor of unionizing. “There were rumors of a cat in McKinley that day,” Camembert argued, blaming the spike in union opposition on low survey response.

Still, some criticize Camembert’s efforts, saying that his insistence on unionization has created unwanted divides within the community.

“I’m not against George on wanting better wages and treatment in comparison to the human staff,” said Joe Manchego, a board member of MPAC.

Manchego was injured on the job two years ago when he was stepped on by a drunk freshman while trying to break up a pregaming event.

“I saw what happened when the Terrace rats tried to unionize back in 2011,” Manchego added. “The administration completely wiped them out and brought in a new, younger workforce from the University of Maryland. We just need to accept that we can’t beat them.”

Despite the naysayers, Camembert has no plans to halt his activism any time soon. His close friend and confidante, Selena Swiss, says that it’s not just about wages, but about visibility.

“Just the other day, I heard a tour guide telling a group of prospective students that the rumors of mice in Anderson are totally false, and that they have nothing to worry about,” Swiss said. “We’re tired of being ignored. We’re here for good, and keeping your food in closed containers isn’t going to keep us away.”

Bobbie Armstrong is a sophomore in the School of Communication and a satire columnist at The Eagle.

barmstrong@theeagleonline.com


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