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Dear Editor,

The outpouring of love and support for Ms. Susie while she was in the ICU and hospice was so beautiful! She had so many visitors and well-wishers that the staff at hospice told us they had never seen anything like it. And that was during spring break! It was very kind of the Student Foundation and the Dean of Students Office to include her in their Bobcat Pause memorial even though she did not work for the university. Ms. Susie worked for Chartwells for years and made $12 an hour with no benefits. She had her degree in English and a teaching certificate from the university. Ms. Susie was so grateful for all the support when she needed help funding her cataract surgery, but Texas State University administration should have been embarrassed that her health care was not provided. Years ago, when Ms. Susie’s father worked as staff for the university, all the jobs paid a decent living wage with benefits. At some point, they started subcontracting out the food services to a private company. And I understand that the university is now subcontracting out the janitorial jobs, too.

Through Susie’s passing, I have met several very nice people who worked with Chartwells. Yet, everyone knows that they consistently understaffed causing long wait times for food and excessively long check out lines. They have ridiculous rip-off policies concerning meal trades and they do not treat their employees as well as if they were working for the university itself because decisions are made based on the bottom line, not the good of the students or staff. The university is not a for-profit entity and should not be making its decisions as such. Ms. Susie is a prime example of how every employee, no matter their position, that works on University property has an effect on the students. The university should stand behind every employee so that when they pass, we can be proud enough to say that this employee was well-paid, treated well and had access to health care. If that had been the case with Ms. Susie, maybe we would have a couple of more good years with her, as a friend of hers for over 32 years, many people have asked what we can do to commemorate her life. One thing we could do is make sure others in her position are treated with the respect & dignity that they deserve. Stop the university policy of subcontracting!

Respectfully,

Vicki Hartin

Alumni, Sociology

vlhartin@grandecom.net

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