students stage demonstration at Antioch
Members of two Antioch College unions and Antioch students last month
staged a demonstration to protest the suspension of cook and employee
Carolyn Glass, who was suspended without pay for asking to be relieved
of her position as group leader of the college cafeteria staff.
David Radke, director of Antioch College Dining Services, suspended Glass
on Friday, Oct. 18, and told her that she could be terminated.
The group leader position is voluntary and is traditionally offered to
senior members of the dining staff. Glass has worked at the college for
On Monday morning, Oct. 21, union members and students responded by staging
a demonstration in the cafeteria in support of Glass.
Radke attempted to block their entrance, and at one point allegedly grabbed
UE 796 Chief Steward Thomas Blessing IV by the collar and shoved him.
As approximately 50 students eating lunch looked on, Radke announced that
the cafeteria was closed and began taking food away from students.
After the incident, several students complained to college President Joan
Straumanis about Radkes behavior. Straumanis instructed Radke to
reopen the cafeteria.
Later that day, Glass was reinstated and given back pay.
The issued dominated the Community Meeting, a weekly open
forum at Antioch College, Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Radke apologized to the Antioch community, telling Blessing, Im
sorry it happened.
Radke also justified his decision to suspend Glass. I felt I was
correct in what I was doing, Radke said. I had taken a stand
that you could not resign the position. I asked her please not to resign
He said he acted in self defense, explaining that after he suspended Glass,
he received threats of physical violence at work and home. Im
a member of the community, too. I wanted to protect myself as well as
my staff from retribution as well, Radke said.
Blessing told Radke, Im appalled at your behavior. You had
no right touching me.
Several other members of the Antioch unions and managerial staff spoke,
often heatedly, as Glasss suspension and conflicts between the unions
and management were discussed.
Michael Hogan Jr.