A group of Tufts University students ended a hunger strike on Saturday after failing to get administrators to reverse course on janitor layoffs.
"I’m like fatigued and tired," Ander Pierce, one freshmen protestor, told WBUR Boston
. "When I stand up, I get dizzy, but I’ve been supported by the people around me. They’re incredible. And this needs to be done. The administration needs to hear us."
Pierce and four other hunger strikers were protesting the university's decision to layoff 20 to 35 janitors, and move the roughly $900,000 in annual savings to other areas.
Tufts Executive Vice President Patricia Campbell said it would likely be spent "on faculty, on financial aid, on various kinds of academic support services."
She added that Tufts spends more per square foot on cleaning than other universities.
The hunger strike and related protest marches began May 3, and several student activists and union organizers were arrested for stopping traffic last week.
"Our students’ safety has always been a priority," school spokeswoman Kim Thurler told The Boston Globe
. "We will continue to work towards an appropriate and thoughtful restructuring of our custodial services."
Students vowed to target graduation ceremonies in continuation of their protest.
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