University of Rochester

Latasha Shaw, Longtime Food Service Employee, Dies

October 2, 2007

Latasha E. Shaw, a 15-year employee in dining services at the University of Rochester, died suddenly on Saturday.

"We are all deeply saddened by this tragic loss," said Cam Schauf, director of Campus Dining Services and Auxiliary Operations at the University of Rochester. "Tasha was a warm and caring employee who touched many lives on this campus. We will all miss her."

Rochester Police are investigating the incident that led to the fatal stabbing of Ms. Shaw. A large crowd watched on a busy street in northwest Rochester when fighting broke out about 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29, according to news reports. Police are working to identify suspects in the case.

Ms. Shaw, who was 36, was an active member of the Service Employees International Union and worked to assist other employees. "Tasha was a constant advocate for workers' rights and fought to improve the lives of her co-workers," said Bruce Popper, vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1199.

Last week, she sat next to Mr. Popper as the union bargaining committee continued to negotiate with the University of Rochester for a new contract. The union represents 1,400 employees at the Medical Center and River Campus. Ms. Shaw was vice chairperson of the University of Rochester Campus Chapter of SEIU Local 200 United. She also was a union steward.

She began working at the University in October 1992 and was assigned to dining centers on the University's River Campus and at the Eastman School of Music. For many years, she was a cook's helper, and in August she was promoted to cook.

The University flag on the Eastman Quadrangle of the River Campus will be flown at half staff today in her memory. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.