Hello Dr. Gilley, this is Irucka Embry.I would like to recommend that the University of Tennessee buy Green Power from KUB and TVA to ease the burden of noxious fumes and gases coming from this area.Also, it would help sustain a better life for people in this region and other regions.Providing Green Power, at a "moral" institution of higher learning is not too much to ask, at least I don't believe that it is.It is important that we, as UT, the largest user and horde of energy in this region decides to buy Green Power because it will send out a message to the rest of the region that Green Power is important and that we are investing in the future and life of the inhabitants of this planet.It sends out a message that we not only "talk the talk, but we walk the walk as well."

 

When UT decides to pay all of its employees, including those that have been contracted out, a Living Wage of $9.50 an hour with benefits and $11.00 an hour without benefits, then it will put pressure on the rest of Knoxville to provide a Living Wage for all of their workers too.As UT is probably the largest employer in Knoxville, it would be a good thing for people to see that UT does actually care about its employees, despite what we know to be true.We can change our ways; we do not have to continue in this way.

UT should and must buy Green Power, UT should and must provide all employees a Hepatitis B vaccination free of charge, UT must and should pay all of its employees, including those contracted out, a Living Wage, UT should and must endorse the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) Code of Conduct for production of university licensed products, as well as its verification model.UT is a large employer who has a faulty record of treating its employees unfairly and unjustly, and this can not continue on.

It is time that UT looks in the mirror and stops perpetrating an image that is not true.UT must tell the truth, that it does not care about its employees.If this is not the case, then UT should prove that it cares about its workers.UT has the power to do this, and the power to do this is in your hands and in the hands of the rest of the members of the Board of Trustees.

 

Here on campus, we do not want a Four-Lane Bridge built to connect the Agriculture Campus and the Main Campus.I personally do not want to see any money put forth to build the skyboxes on Neyland Stadium from the tuition funds of students.The Athletic Department itself has more than enough money to pay for it themselves.The bridge is not only an environmental disaster waiting to happen, it costs money that should not be spent, and plus it destroys the graves and remains of our ancestors that have walked this earth and have died on this earth, because of the type of "progress" that we think is necessary.We are not "civilized" when we treat each other this way and care more about profit margins then about those people and other life forms around us.It is time that we change.

 

UT spent millions of dollars to renovate the campus cafeterias, but for what reason.I for one did not want to see the cafeterias renovated, it was wasted money that could have gone to paying the employees of UT a Living Wage and creating better working conditions for them.The quality of the food has gotten worse since ARAMARK stepped in the door, and the price of the food has surged higher and higher each year.This certainly does not make sense at all.The cafeterias may have changed physically, but they are the same or worse inside.We may change how we look on the outside, but until we change how we look on the inside, we are still the same people.UT must start respecting its workers and pay them a Living Wage.It is time to confront and rescind the inhumane practices of UTís past.It's a new day.We can't let things go on as they have.I hope that you Dr. Gilley, President and CEO of the University of Tennessee, choose to listen to the concerns expressed by the students, workers, faculty members, community members, and others throughout UT, Knoxville, and the whole state of Tennessee as we demand that UT change for the better.Thank-you for your time and consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Irucka Embry

Concerned person and student

April 30, 2000