After Loyola’s Cinderella NCAA Run, Faculty Are Out On Strike. Where Is Sister Jean?

In These Times

In the wake of the underdog Loyola Ramblers’ Cinderella run in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last month, underdog workers at Chicago's Jesuit university are hoping to pull off an upset of their own.

Over 300 non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty at Loyola are on strike today to win their first contract after two years of negotiations. They are being joined in a campus-wide walkout this afternoon by students and other university workers who say they are fed up with the administration's poor track record on economic and racial justice.

“Anybody who knows what’s happening to workers on campus—from dining hall workers to cleaning services workers to adjuncts to grad students—knows that this university does not care about social justice,” Lillian Osborne, a 2016 Loyola graduate and former student organizer, tells In These Times.

“The NCAA tournament happened at a very opportune time for the university,” Osborne points out, accusing the administration of using the newfound stardom of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt—the basketball team’s chaplain and longtime celebrity on campus—to “placate people, put on a show, and mask what’s really happening.”

So far Sister Jean has not publicly commented on the faculty organizing drive.

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