$15 Now & $20 by 2026

A living wage allows workers to afford a minimum standard of living, which includes costs such as groceries, childcare, health care, housing, transportation, utilities and other basic necessities.

The Federal Minimum Wage ($7.25/hour) is well below the estimated living wage nearly everywhere in the country. In Tippecanoe County, a living wage for a single adult with no kids is estimated at $13.44, with that number increasing dramatically with the addition of non-working partners and children. Today, $15/hour constitutes a living wage for most places in the country, yet about 20% of the American workforce make less than that.

Purdue University is the largest employer in Tippecanoe County, employing more than 10,000 workers. Unfortunately, many of these workers, especially student employees, graduate student workers, and dining workers are making less than a living wage. In fact, a survey of undergraduate and graduate students at Purdue found that ~13% of respondents experience food insecurity, including ~15% of underrepresented minority students and 25% of students making less than $20,000. Additionally, with the cost of rent in West Lafayette increasing by about 5% each year, and increases in enrollment forcing undergraduate students out of dorms and into more expensive apartments on and off campus, housing for students is becoming less and less affordable.

Therefore, we are calling on Mitch Daniels and the Board of Trustees to raise the minimum wage across the board at Purdue. To this end, we are making the following demands:

  • $15 Now and $20 by 2026. The Purdue University administration will institute a $15 minimum wage for all workers associated with Purdue, including Purdue employees, contracted workers, and workers employed by other entities such as Aramark. Furthermore, Purdue University will ensure that this wage level is gradually raised (e.g. $1/yr) to $20/hr by the year 2026.
  • Graduate Worker Stipends. Stipends of $31,200/yr immediately (equal to $15 an hour for 40hrs/wk) with this rate raised to $41,600/yr by 2026.
  • Union Labor. Purdue University will use union labor on all building projects.
  • Aramark Out! Purdue University will terminate its contract with Aramark at the earliest possible opportunity.


Email us at greater.lafayette.dsa@gmail.com about becoming a member organization. Member organizations can hold their own events, plan their own actions, as well as work directly in partnership with DSA/YDSA. We will ask member organizations to sign our pledge of support, allow us to use their logo in official communications, and participate in public events.


Greater Lafayette Democratic Socialists of America (GLDSA)

Purdue Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA)

Graduate Rights and Our Well-Being (GROW)

American Association of University Professors (AAUP) at Purdue

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