Lagunita residents petition for temporary staff member’s employment

Nov. 20, 2014, 4:34 p.m.

Residents on West Campus have started a petition to grant custodian Maria Buenrostro full-time employment.

Buenrostro is currently a temporary staff member at Ujamaa in Lagunita Court. Temporary staff are hired for operational peak periods.

“While any individual temporary hire is able to apply for a permanent position and are welcome to do so, longer-term employment opportunities correctly follow the hiring protocol,” said Rodger Whitney, the executive director of Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) Student Housing/CHO.

According to a petition letter spearheaded by Ujamaa residents, Buenrostro was denied a permanent position by R&DE, in part due to the fact that she is still learning English. However, the letter also explained that language is not a true limiting factor because R&DE has previously hired people who are not fluent in English. In addition, Buenrostro has independently chosen to take classes through Habla, a group on campus in which Stanford students tutor participating janitorial staff in English.

Citing Buenrostro’s diligence and positive attitude, students argued that Buenrostro has become a member of the Lagunita community, and the petition, which is signed by “The Residents of Ujamaa, Naranja, West Lagunita and Roble” collected 200 signatures in its first week.

R&DE explained that they are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and hire women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

“While we appreciate very much the support students have provided on behalf of one of our temporary staff and the praise for their work while here, any permanent hiring decision is made on the basis of many factors and criteria and in fair and equal consideration of all the applicants for a position in order to ensure the most qualified person is ultimately hired in Residential & Dining Enterprises,” Whitney said.

Contact Alexandra Bourdillon at abourdil ‘at’

Alexandra Bourdillon '18 is a freshman from Cupertino, CA. When she's not eating waffles, she can be found reading tea leaves or quantifying the land-speed velocity of a swallow (African, not European). After Stanford she hopes to explore the world, although the Bay Area will always be her home. To contact Alexandra, email her at abourdil ‘at’

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