Photo courtesy of Christine Stover
Dear Oakland Post, and the entire Oakland University Community.
I have been a proud faculty member of the department of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations for the past 17 years. I am also an alumni earning my BA in 2002.
While I ended this summer with an eagerness to begin Fall classes here we are…first day of classes are over. No classes were held. Lots of emails answered because the University sent out more confusing communications suggesting that all classes and activities were ongoing despite the negotiations and that a strike was illegal. And here we are on day two as the negotiations continue.
What has lifted me up is the show of understanding from my students both past and present. The voices on Oaklands social media. The people on the picket line.
It’s disheartening to see the local media falsely report this suggesting the union is demanding “bumps” or a 10 percent raise. As a professor of media I emphasize the need to be skilled in deconstructing and seeing through misleading messages and am rigorous in my approach. To this day I get emails from former students thanking me for how much I helped them decifer and discern.
The administration can try and slash our retirement. Eliminate vision for families. Eliminate the dental health benefits for our famiies. Strip the ability for our children to walk in the light of our tradition, but you cannot take from us the reason we are here to begin with. And the impact I, and others have had. And you cannot make me or others somehow grateful because of a pandemic that we should just be happy to be here.
Don’t misunderstand me. We ARE happy to be here teaching but it’s a service we offer that deserves proper respect.
If the negotation goes as the administration recommends the talents of myself and my esteemed colleagues will have been exploited.
I stand with the AAUP