Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign records
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
When the Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign (SLW&DC) formed in 2000, the minimum wage at the College was $6.66/hour. The group consisted primarily of students, with participation of staff and faculty. After years of research studies, negotiations, and rallies, the Board of Managers passed a proposal in 2004 that addressed some of SLW&DC's concerns and increased the minimum wage to $10.38 tied to inflation. Other components of SLW&DC's proposal, including a call for a childcare benefit, were not met at that time.
- Aronoff, Kate. "Swarthmore students and staff campaign for a living wage, 2000-2004." Entry in Global Nonviolent Action Database. 29 October 2011. https://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu/content/swarthmore-students-and-staff-campaign-living-wage-2000-2004
- Kalwaic, Kae. "Swarthmore Living Wage and Democracy Campaign." Blog. http://psalmboxkey.wordpress.com/political-philosophy/swarthmore-college-living-wage-and-democracy-campaign.
Kae Kalwaic, a staff member in the Education Department at Swarthmore from 1993-2017, was a participant in the Swarthmore Living Wage & Democracy Campaign efforts. She assiduously documented the progress of the campaign on her website (https://psalmboxkey.com/) and in nine 3-inch scrapbooks which she donated to the College Archives in 2017.
These scrapbooks include SLW&DC reports, correspondence between SLW&DC and the administration, publications, flyers, and other records of SLW&DC records. The bulk of the collection dates from the 2000-2004 period of the major campaign, but there are also materials about labor history at Swarthmore before the campaign began, and updates on labor-related issues after the main campaign ended.
The collection was preserved in the order Kae Kalwaic established, which is roughly chronological.
Gift of Kae Kalwaic, 2017.
The collection was removed from binders and rehoused in archival folders and boxes, but the original order and section/folder titles as established by Kae Kalwaic were preserved.
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Hazlett Henderson and Celia Caust-Ellenbogen
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 September
- Access Restrictions
This collection is available for researcher use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Includes a paper presented by Drexel University professor Elizabeth McLean Petras, "From Paternalism to Patronage to Pillage: Chester, Pa., a Chronicle of the Second Most Economically Depressed City in the U.S." Also includes a short history of labor conditions and organizing efforts at Swarthmore, written by Prof. Thompson Bradley (1994).
Includes an issue of "Spare Change," the student publication of the Socialist Political Action Collective of Swarthmore College.
Includes Phoenix articles related to the resignation of the only female officer of Public Safety and the workplace concerns of a visiting French professor.
Includes bulletin prepared by students on recent developments in staff politics at the College.
Includes results of a discussion with President Al Bloom.
Subject of equality of treatment between faculty and staff comes up multiple times, particularly around "Fall Fest" event for staff.
Copy of Staff Advisory Council by-laws.
Includes information from campus visit by director Michael Moore in 1997, and a CD with a campaign Excel spreadsheet.
Includes lengthy report from the Planning Subgroup on Staff Experience.
Includes information on the beginning of the Learning 4 Life program.
Includes relayed concerns from a community member about the racial makeup and leadership of the Living Wage Campaign, and several articles of vigorous debate from the Swarthmore Phoenix.
Includes petition delivered to President Bloom with 1,192 student, faculty, staff, alumni and community member signatures (unlisted), and article written by Swarthmore alumna for Democratic Socialists of America.
Includes information on Harvard's living wage campaign (sit-in and success).
Includes response from President Bloom to editor of Democratic Socialists of America, in response to fall 2001 article written by Swarthmore alumna Rachel Neumann.
Includes articles on staff response to college's raising minimum wage to $9 (from approx. $6.60).
Includes manifesto written by members of Political Science 51, "Socialism in Europe." Students lived "on the commune" (Parrish Beach) for three days.
Includes advertising materials, schedules, scripts, newspaper coverage, etc. for alumni panel on labor justice. Also includes a number of articles from a series of profiles of College staff.
A senior thesis from Haverford College: "Educating for Social Justice? Hierarchy and Principles of Equality in the Staff Experience at an Elite Quaker School."
"Swonions" was a satirical student publication which dealt largely with labor justice.
Includes detailed information on changing staff schedules (1998-2012) and area colleges' presidents' salaries.
Particularly concerning discussion of health care coverage and Benefits Bank at the College.
Includes a guide on workplace sexual harassment from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Includes information on private Board of Managers meeting discussing living wage.
Includes letter from Gerald Epstein and Robert Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute (University of Massachusetts - Amherst).
Includes report from Living Wage and Democracy Campaign: "Living Wage, Three Years Later: An Updated Report…" (1/21/2004). Also includes report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Living Wage, annotated by the Living Wage campaign.
Includes many documents on organizing among faculty members and negotiations with President Bloom, and a small zine for first-year students ("an introduction to the struggle for real justice at Swarthmore College").
Includes many documents on organizing among faculty members and negotiations with President Bloom, and information on the specter of economic injustice.
Includes personal statement responses to, "I support a living wage because…"
Includes in-campaign analysis of victories and (un)successful strategies.
Includes tax form 990 for Swarthmore College, 1998-2001.
Includes a 2008 course paper written on Kae Kalwaic and the Living Wage campaign.
Includes an Ad Hoc Financial Planning Group Recommendation to the Board of Managers (2009).
Additional materials on long term loan to the Friends Historical Library. Not processed and not considered in extent/linear footage measurement for collection. Loan consists of: clay chess pieces handmade by Kae Kalwaic ("Playing for Livelihood at Swarthmore College," 2004), SLW&DC t-shirt, 2 SLW&DC buttons, 2 envelopes photographs of SLW&DC 2004 rally.