Group plans protest at Rosie’s Diner

Steven Harbaugh

Steven Harbaugh

Daily Kent Stater

A protest is in the works and a list of demands has been submitted to the administration from an independent group that wants Rosie’s Diner to change its policies.

The Rosie’s Planning Group met last night to discuss an upcoming protest. The group includes members of various student organizations (including International Socialist Organization, Student Anti-Racist Action, Kent State Anti-War Committee and PRIDE! Kent) who are upset with Rosie’s Diner and how the restaurant treated Jay Welch, a former temporary employee at the restaurant. The group believes Welch was fired because he is transgender. But in an earlier article in the Stater, Cindy Nichols, Rosie’s Diner general manager, said it was because Welch used unsafe procedures while employed there.

“I don’t think the university believes that we’re serious about this issue,” said Leah Cohen, junior speech pathology major. “I think that they think there’s no fuel to our fire.”

The group, who set a date for the protest but requested it not be printed, said it would inform others by word of mouth and student organization e-mail lists.

At the meeting, those in attendance discussed the rights of protesters, a plan to bail out individuals if they are arrested and ways to identify those who are involved in the protest.

Those in attendance stressed that the protest will be a peaceful sit-in that will begin after a short planning meeting prior to the protest.

“I know there’s a lot of issues that if you were to get arrested, you could lose your scholarships,” said Bridgit McCafferty, senior English major.

Chris Kok, senior political science major, suggested designating a place to meet in the event that police are called.

“We want to essentially pack the place so people can’t come in and get food,” Cohen said.

Chris Taylor, sophomore nursing major, brought up the issue of media at the protest and whether it will backfire for the group if some protesters are arrested. The group then voted to send announcements to local media.

Monday, the group also submitted a list of demands to Andrea Spandonis, director of Dining Services, and the Office of Affirmative Action.

Included in these demands were the following, among others:

  • An apology to Jay Welch
  • Set hours of operation at the restaurant
  • A set menu at the restaurant
  • Temporary workers to be given a warning before they are fired
  • A set of new training guidelines for workers at Rosie’s

Spandonis was unable to be reached at press time. Cohen said she has made an attempt to contact the planning group, but they haven’t been able to connect.

Since the story ran in the Stater, The Socialist Worker and The Gay People’s Chronicle have reported on the efforts of the independent group to protest Rosie’s Diner.

Contact religion and culture reporter Steven Harbaugh at [email protected].