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An open letter to John Noonan

Chronicle File Photo
Chronicle File Photo

Dear Mr. John Noonan,

Because we did not hear from you when we sent you this letter privately, we are now sending this letter to the Duke Chronicle to publish publicly.

On behalf of Duke Students and Workers Alliance, a coalition of students and workers pressing for equitable change, I would like to request a meeting with you—for the sixth time. 

We’d like to better understand how and why scheduling changes are made for University housekeepers—the workers responsible for taking care of our academic buildings. We recently had a friendly conversation with Mr. Joe Gonzalez and other Housing and Residential Life administration regarding the shift of residential dorm housekeepers to a 7-day schedule. We would like to build a relationship with your department as well. 

As vice president for facilities, your department was responsible for the rebidding process that would have forced many university housekeepers out of their shifts and locations. Though no change was eventually implemented, newer workers would have been forced to work shifts incompatible with their schedules, take unwanted late-night shifts, or quit their jobs. 

You have told us in an email that, “We have not changed anything within University Housekeeping and therefore have no reason to meet.” We strongly disagree. Although the change was cancelled, there continues to be little transparency or community input into these modifications. 

In your letter to employees, you said that facilities will explore “other, less disruptive options” to the re-bidding process. and we would like to take part in that process. Please allow workers and students to build a relationship with you. It is time that workers at Duke are given the dignity that they deserve.


Duke Students and Workers Alliance

This letter was written by Trinity seniors Grace Mok, Jacob Glasser, Jasmine Lu, Helen Yang and James Rees.


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