ISU Student Action group focuses efforts on prison labor campaign


Kennedy DeRaedt/Iowa State Daily

ISU Student Action held a meeting on March 1 in 268 Carver to discuss their plan for their campaigns this semester. Fighting prison labor and the fight for $15 are their two campaigns. Kaleb Van Fosson, the lead organizer is heading the group’s campaign against prison labor. The group plans to talk to student government during an open forum, start a petition and hold a large rally on March 31.

Megan Salo

The ISU Student Action group met Wednesday to discuss the two causes it will be supporting. 

The main cause that the group is working toward is the prison labor campaign. 

Kaleb VanFosson, lead organizer, said Iowa State has employed Iowa federal prisoners to work on campus in various jobs such as cleaning around Frederiksen Court. The prisoners are paid less than a dollar an hour for their work. 

“It’s essentially slave labor,” VanFosson said. 

The group plans to attend the Student Government meeting next week to discuss terminating the program during the open forum. 

It also encourages students to write letters to President Steven Leath explaining why they are against prison labor. These letters will be hand delivered to Leath’s office next Wednesday.  

ISU Student Action is planning a rally for March 31 to push the university to end prison labor, with details to come. 

The second cause it is promoting is Fight for $15.

Fight for $15 is a movement that works for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 nationwide. 

Although ISU Student Action’s main focus is on the prison labor campaign, it will work with this movement through tabling, speaking with university clubs and starting a petition at Iowa State. 

Students interested in becoming a member of ISU Student Action can contact Kaleb VanFosson at [email protected]

The next group meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 8 in Carver 268.