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On April 11, 2005, I sent the following email to all my students:

Dear students,

I have been hard at work grading your papers in the most congenial environment I have ever found for grading papers efficiently and fairly: the SWA sit-in for a living wage for WashU employees and outsourced workers. My friends and students kindly welcomed me into the office on Friday, where they found me a corner by the window with an electrical plug for my lamp. I have been grading incessantly from Friday through Sunday, and will work there tomorrow. I find the atmosphere of satyagraha (non-violent non-cooperation, civil disobedience) invigorating, and the distractions (civil discourse with the Deans, a phone call from John Edwards, polite conversations with office workers, one of whom is one of my best University College grad students) quite interesting and conducive to fair and generous grading. Sitting in the SWA demonstration is filling me with creative energy, and restoring my sense of balance and serenity and purpose (something I think we all need now, after a hard semester). And it seems to be the only place I can get any work done, these days! You should try it...

Please demonstrate in support of a living wage this Monday, 12 noon, in front of the Admissions Office (there will be a special faculty demonstration then). Or demonstrate in support of free speech and freedom to protest peacefully. Or organize your own counter-demonstration. Do whatever you must, in accord with your beliefs and values. I am proud to live in a country where we have so much freedom, and I am proud to exercise my freedom. So should we all, or risk losing it.

If you want contact me on Monday or Wednesday afternoon, I most likely will be in the Admissions Office, near the window, grading papers while the negotiations go on. I will have open office hours. Please call my name, to get my attention. If you wish, you may come into the office. If you prefer, I will go outside and we can talk on the lawn. I will also be available on Monday evening, 7:30pm-10pm, and Tuesday, 4pm-9pm at the Co-op, 6021 Pershing.

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you wish.

Sincerely,

Jerome Bauer
per veritatem vis

 

(Note: I have a visual handicap, and need to hang a
magnifying lamp around my neck in order to read. I was
kicked out of the office I share, then out of two vacant
classrooms, then out of Holmes Lounge, before I finally
found a suitable electrical outlet, courtesy of the SWA.
I was a participant observer at the sit-in, a guest who
was trusted to keep secret everything I heard of a con-
fidential nature. I cont9inue to honor that commitment)..

(Note: Satyagraha is Gandhi's practice of "firmly grasping
the way things ought to be (satya)," or non-violent non-
cooperation).

I have never been more proud to be a faculty member of
Washington Universsity, and proud to be an American,
a country in which we can disagree with each other in
fundamental wasys, and still be nonviolent and civil to
one another. I am proud of all the faculty, students, and
administrators of this university, for the way this was
conducted and resolved. I endorse the constructive
working relationship between Washington University and
the Student Worker Alliance, and other student groups.