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Will Colorado Comm. College System Adjuncts Get the 28 Percent Pay Hike They’re Demanding?

Caprice Lawless peruses the aisles at the Sister Carmen Community Center and food bank near her home in Louisville. As she draws closer to the produce section, she sees a heap of squash which a volunteer says will not count against her bi-monthly allowance. She heaves one into her shopping cart, just as another volunteer plops down bins of fresh, tiny Brussels sprouts.

“Holy moly!” she exclaims with delight, before bagging up several of them. ”Look at these little tiny Brussels sprouts.”

Lawless is 64. She’s been teaching English and composition at Front Range Community College in Westminster since 1999. She’s an adjunct professor — meaning she works part-time and receives no benefits.

At home, Lawless unpacks her groceries and puts them away. Her house is cozy and well-kept. You’d never guess she has three roommates.

“In order to survive on an adjunct’s wage, I have to rent out most of my house. Seventy-five percent of my house. I have three housemates,” she says. “I get most of my food from the food bank, and I also work with Boulder County Human Services, so I have [a] very heavily subsidized by the taxpayers health care plan”

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