The Service Employees International Union and men’s basketball player representatives released a statement following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board regional official that Dartmouth men’s basketball players are university employees and can vote on whether to unionize.
In a statement obtained by The Dartmouth, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry wrote that SEIU members are proud of today’s ruling, which represents a “historic step.”
“This is a historic step forward for economic justice, racial justice and union rights — not just for college athletes, but for millions of young people across our country whose work is not valued like it should be,” Henry wrote. “I commend these brave young men, who I had the privilege of meeting in person, for their courage to challenge the status quo at our institutions of higher learning.”
In that same statement, Chris Peck, president of SEIU Local 560 — which the team seeks to join — wrote that, from his understanding, Dartmouth intends to appeal the ruling. However, SEIU Local 560 will “support” the men’s basketball team in their unionization effort.
“President [Sian] Beilock is missing an opportunity to make history with these courageous student workers,” Peck wrote. “The regional office saw through Dartmouth’s arguments, and we fully expect the National Board will, too. The players are our members, and we will support them to the end of this process.”
Upon the announcement from the NLRB, College spokesperson Diana Lawrence wrote in an email statement that the College believes “firmly that unionization is not appropriate in this instance,” citing the opinion that student athletes are not College employees. Lawrence also wrote that the College “will be seeking a review of the decision” in the same email statement, according to reporting from The Dartmouth.
Men’s basketball player representatives Cade Haskins ’25 and Romeo Myrthil ’25 wrote in their statement that they are proud of the ruling and see it as a significant step forward for college athletes.
“We are excited to see how this decision will impact college sports nationwide,” they wrote. “We believe that other athletes will recognize the opportunities this ruling presents and will be inspired to follow suit.”
Haskins and Myrthil also announced that they will form the Ivy League Players Association for basketball players in the conference.
“This association aims to foster unity, advocate for athletes’ rights and well-being and create a platform for collaborative decision-making,” they wrote. “We look forward to working with our fellow Ivy League athletes to bring positive change to the landscape of college sports and the Ivy League.”