A group of students at Tufts University ended a hunger strike on Saturday on behalf of 20 janitors laid off by the administration.
The hunger strike, which began last weekend, went on for about a week. The students involved ended the stunt out of concerns for their own health, reports The Boston Globe.
The custodians remain laid off.
The slouchy, overwhelmingly white supporters of the Tufts Labor Coalition vowed to carry on with their labor protest efforts despite failing to bring about any change whatsoever.
One student striker, Zoe Jeka quit her hunger strike on Friday when her blood pressure dropped.
Also, Jeka presumably had tools on hand to measure her blood pressure.
The other strikers held out until Saturday afternoon on the marginally prestigious, $61,277-per-year Boston-area campus.
“This is a long-term fight, fighting the exploitation of workers,” Jeka told the Globe. “We wish we didn’t have to stop, but we wish we didn’t have to start in the first place.”
The Tufts administration expressed relief that the hunger strike is now over.
“Our students’ safety has always been a priority,” school spokeswoman Kim Thurler told the newspaper via email. “We will continue to work towards an appropriate and thoughtful restructuring of our custodial services.”
Just prior to the hunger strike, police arrested a group of student activists and some union agitators who had stopped traffic while protesting the custodial staff layoffs.
In a statement, the Service Employees International Union, the janitors’ union, thanked the student hunger strikers for not eating for a week to accomplish nothing.
Union leaders were “honored by the sacrifice and commitment demonstrated by the students,” the statement obtained by the Globe said.
The student strikers said they may now protest at upcoming graduation festivities on the Tufts campus, but they are not yet sure how.
The hunger strike participants have been slurping miso soup and drinking Gatorade until their bodies are ready for solid foods, a spokeswoman for the Tufts Labor Coalition said.
Tufts sophomore Jenna Sherman, one of the hunger strikers, has a Facebook page chockablock full of likes including Ben & Jerry’s, Kendall’s Cakes, Pie Lab, Media Matters for America and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Another student who participated in the hunger strike, freshman Mica Jarmel-Schneider, likes Sour Patch Kids, Free Food around Tufts, Sushi, Students for Free Tuition and the Transgender Law Center on Facebook.
Tufts is, of course, most famous because some professors there oppose any kind of state laws mandating that America’s public high schools require a civics test for graduation. Questions would include: Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? (RELATED: OH NO! Fancypants Academics Say High School Civics Tests Fraught With Danger)
The school also looks to be a last-resort safety school for Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s older daughter. (RELATED: Malia Obama’s Excellent Tour Of Fancypants Colleges)