The protest is being staged by a student group called the Tufts Labor Coalition.

The Boston Globe reports.

Tufts students to begin hunger strike over job cuts

Five Tufts University students began a hunger strike Sunday to protest the planned layoff of janitors on the college’s Medford campus.

The Tufts Labor Coalition, a student group organizing the demonstration, said the protest will continue until the university agrees to halt plans to cut about 35 janitorial jobs at the end of May.

“It resonates with me because my mother is an assistant teacher, part of the workforce, and my father is a mechanic,” said freshman Arismer Angeles, who will be taking part in the hunger strike. “We’re a working-class family.”

The group set up a dozen green tents in a circle on a grassy area outside the main administrative building, as more than 80 students, janitors, and families of the janitorial staff gathered. The strike got underway just as Tufts begins its week of final exams, but the coalition said about 20 students would occupy the space to support those on the hunger strike.

Cutting the janitorial positions will eliminate the livelihoods of nearly one in six janitors at the university, according to the coalition.

University spokeswoman Kim Thurler said Tufts supports the rights of students to hold peaceful protests as long as they comply with university policies.

“A number of students are camping outside in support of the . . . custodians who work on Tufts’ campuses,” Thurler said in a statement. “They are free to do so as long as they do not interfere with university operations or activities. There are no restrictions on their ability to access food or come and go. We are aware that some students have informed the media of a planned hunger strike but we hope that all participants will be mindful of their health and safety.”