Letter to the editor: contract negotiations, my view as a student and future educator

To President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Chief of Staff Joshua Merchant, Provost Britt Rios-Ellis, and the Board of Trustees: 

My name is Alaina Johns. I am currently a junior at Oakland University majoring in Elementary Education with my endorsement in Early Childhood Education. As a student and future educator, I feel defeated and frustrated. 

I can’t speak for the entire student body when I say this, but I think most would agree that the academic faculty at Oakland University are the reason why the students love their college education so much, and why we continue to study at Oakland University. I am a transfer student in fact. After one year at Western Michigan University, I felt lost and decided to go back to the only place I knew, home. That’s when I started my educational journey at OU, and let me tell you, I found more than just a familiar place called home. I’ve had countless professors at Oakland University that have not just taught me, but have cared for me and shaped me into the person I am today and into the educator I will become. There is truly a welcoming community feeling at Oakland University that is hard to find elsewhere. This is why I stand alongside my professors and their union today, supporting their decision to strike entirely. 

It makes me sad knowing that a university I once thought shared my same values for education, doesn’t anymore. The most important value of all being; putting students, faculty, and staff as a top priority when making executive and economic decisions. My hope is that the administration at Oakland University will not only compensate their faculty and staff fairly, but also learn from this current situation and continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students, faculty, and staff moving forward. Those are the decisions of a university I came to love, and I hope that the administration can turn around their actions and I can appreciate OU once again. 


Alaina Johns