GSC seeks to extend Green Library hours, addresses Daily investigation

Feb. 12, 2024, 1:10 a.m.

During its Tuesday meeting, Graduate Student Council (GSC) passed a resolution proposing to extend Green Library hours and responded to a Daily article on the mistreatment of custodial staff and service workers.

The resolution, which aimed to “advocate for the implementation of a 24/7 operational schedule,” passed with 12 votes in favor, three abstentions and no votes against. Once going into effect, it would call on the University to support the proposed schedule.

Undergraduate Senate (UGS) treasurer Gordon Allen ’26, who proposed the resolution, said extending hours would cost about $500,000 in renovations and security staff payment, citing a statement from Ida M. Green University Librarian Michael Keller.

Allen said that Keller and students voiced support for the extension. UGS had received over 1,200 responses from graduate and undergraduate students in a November 2023 survey on their interest in extending library hours. Students had also sent in 46 testimonials about their support for the initiative.

Allen said that only the library’s East Wing first floor, with a capacity to host 100 students, would be open during what are currently the library’s after-hours. Once additional budget is approved, additional seats and tables would be added to the wing. Only full-time library staff who made over $60,000 annually would work the late hours.

Emmit Pert, GSC co-chair and fourth-year Ph.D. student in chemistry, also called on members to address a Daily article that exposed mistreatment of custodial workers employed by University contractor UG2. The article found that workers had been systematically mistreated and denied disability rights. 

“We have a responsibility to continue to advocate for everyone on campus, [especially] the people who keep the campus running,” Pert said. “We all rely on them.”

Councilors did not reach a consensus regarding specific actions on UG2 workers’ rights. However, they discussed addressing “specific misunderstandings” described in the article, such as asking the University to tell workers they could store their personal belongings in supply closets during their shifts.

According to the article, workers had been falsely told by supervisors that “the state” was coming to do inspections and they could not store personal belongings in supply closets.

GSC members also called on UG2 to speak directly on the issue. 

“Is there any reason we can’t have UG2 come in and give comment?” asked Perry Nielsen Jr., a master’s student in health policy. “If they’re not contracting in an economically efficient way, Stanford should be able to just slot someone else in.”

In response to a question from Áron Ricardo Perez-Lopez, a second-year Ph.D. student in computer science, about why the University subcontracts in the first place, Pert said that it was not necessarily “pernicious.”

“It can mean that you don’t have to manage a part of the business that you’re not an expert at, but it can also mean you feel less obligation to people who work for you,” Pert said. “I think my concern is just that the working conditions are equitable.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the capacity of Green Library’s East Wing. The Daily regrets this error.

Andrew Zeng '26 is a University desk writer from Cleveland, OH. He can be reached at az1 'at'

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