Campus traffic came to a halt Friday afternoon when members of the Student Labor Action Project at the University of Maryland sat at a crosswalk on Campus Drive near the university’s entrance.
SLAP members staged the protest, which they called a “Rally to End Loh Wages,” to bring awareness to the fact that the university’s set minimum wage of $8.25 an hour is less than the Prince George’s County rate of $9.55 an hour.
Protesters sat on the Campus Drive crosswalk for eight minutes and 25 seconds to symbolize the university’s minimum wage rate.
Police who arrived at the scene of the protest about five minutes in told the demonstrators that the gathering was unlawful and requested that they clear the road.
“Tuition is always increasing so I don’t know how they think we can afford it…President Loh gets paid $500,000 a year and they can’t increase the wage by a dollar or two?” said Adrienne Edwards, a junior intended psychology major.
The protestors remained seated while chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho. Low wages have got to go.”
After moving from the crosswalk, the protesters formed a circle on the grass in front of the Mitchell building and held a speak-out for those in attendance to share their experiences living on minimum wage.
“It’s a no-brainer. The university should be paying a living wage and respecting the minimum wage of Price George’s County,” said Julie Greene a history professor at the University of Maryland.