Letter to the editor: I am genuinely concerned for what is in store for this coming semester

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Photo courtesy of Autumn Gratti

Oakland University student Autumn Gratti.

Autumn Gratti, Contributor

I am just reaching out with some concerns regarding the fall semester that starts Thursday. What you will read may come across as crass, and I apologize. However, I feel as though my voice needs to be heard, and I am by no means trying to jeopardize my future, and my career at Oakland University.

I thought I would give a little backstory as to who I am. My name is Autumn Gratti, and I am a transfer student starting the Bachelors of Social Work Program at OU this fall. I have spent years trying to figure out what I want out of life, and I found my path that I am both excited and passionate about– Social Work.  I have been anxiously awaiting for the start of this semester. September 2 could not come fast enough.

However, my concerns began to rise as I came across an article in The Oakland Post. I am dumbfounded and heartbroken to learn that a university that I have always admired is so hungry for money, and giving the most kind, respected, and down to earth faculty the short end of the stick. Furthermore, I am perturbed as to how this will affect us students, and the values of our education. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but based on the information I have read through The Oakland Post, as well as trying to decipher what is posted on the Oakland AAUP Bargaining Diary, I am genuinely concerned for what is in store for myself, my peers, and my professors for this coming semester.

If an agreement is not reached… What does this mean for the first day of classes? As someone who has worked very hard to get to where I am in my secondary education, I wonder what a decline in the reputation of the university will do to my degree and my future? I made an educated choice to attend Oakland University based on your competitive reputation with neighboring universities, which I had the opportunity to go to as well. Do I need to re-address my decision? To perhaps choose a university that truly values the safety and worth of all students, faculty, and alike as well as treats their professors with the appropriate compensation they deserve, as well as their ability to make choices on how they set up their curriculum in the coming semesters. I understand there are challenges in these unprecedented times, and in such times, I feel that our compassionate and hardworking professors deserve more, not less.

As a future Social Worker, a student of the Bachelor of Social Work program and as a member of the National Association of Social Workers, I feel that it is important to remember the demand of individuals drawn to advocate for others. In the coming years, Social Workers, Scientists and other compassionate individuals like myself will be needed. Please do not delay the start of our futures due to an untimely dispute for all due to COVID-19. Health and safety should not be used as an arguing (bargaining) point.

To conclude my message, please consider this: Are you willing to jeopardize the reputation of Oakland University, the atmosphere of the classroom, and the compassionate hearts of both us students and professors over appropriate compensation for those professors who lead us? Think about the impact this will have on us all.

Us Golden Grizzlies are more than just numbers, and we would like to be proud of that.

This letter addressed to President Pescovitz and her cabinet was submitted to The Oakland Post. Letters to the editor can be submitted to [email protected]