As an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students, the Labor Studies Working Group supports, and stands in solidarity with the students sitting in at Crouse-Hinds Hall. The Labor Studies Working Group has aspired to raise consciousness about the conditions and concerns of all workers within the Syracuse University community. We are impressed with the students of THE General Body in their efforts to fight for a more inclusive and democratic university. We are amazed by their organizing skills and tenacity to stick to a core set of demands that represent their many diverse struggles.
Like THE General Body, we are concerned with the lack of transparency when it comes to decisions that affect workers on campus. This lack of transparency has intensified with the new administration. For example, for the first time in nearly 50 years the American Association of University Professors at Syracuse were not provided with critical salary data to write the Z report so important to faculty in understanding the salary structures at the university. The administration also has not been cooperative in meeting with the University Senate Budget Committee.
Like THE General Body, we believe democratic inclusion and shared governance requires that the Administration actually responds to feedback from faculty and student-run institutions. The decision of the Board of Trustees to reject the Senate’s recommendations on tenure and promotion policy is a disturbing and anti-democratic action. We hope the administration takes seriously the recent Senate motions calling on the Board of Trustees to reconsider this decision, and more fully explain their actions.
Like THE General Body, we are concerned about marginalized identities on campus. In particular, we are concerned with the many precarious working populations on campus. This includes contingent part time and adjunct faculty who despite doing the most important thing on campus – teaching – are poorly compensated and lack benefits. This includes the grad students who also teach and lack even a basic living wage. This includes staff and other service workers who deserve value and respect as they are the real foundation of how this university functions.
We respect what the students are doing in Crouse-Hinds. Any scholar of labor knows that sometimes resistance must take the form of direct action and bodily occupation to force systems of power to respond to demands from below. We also respect THE General Body’s unity and solidarity across different concerns and identities that have also been critical to labor struggles throughout history. We call on the Syracuse University Administration to address THE General Body’s articulation of “needs and solutions” with not only future promises and reviews, but concrete actions and explanations issued in writing.
Signed (In alphabetical order)
Parvathy Binoy, Graduate Student, Geography
John Burdick, Professor of Anthropology
Linda Carty, Associate Professor, African American Studies
Collin Chambers, Undergraduate Student, Geography
Patrick Cihon, Associate Professor of Law & Public Policy, Emeritus
Leyla Fallhan, Graduate Student, Political Science
Brian Hennigan, Graduate Student, Geography, Graduate Students United
Matt Huber, Assistant Professor of Geography
Natasha Koshy, Graduate Student, Social Science
Vincent Lloyd, Assistant Professor of Religion
Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Assistant Professor, Food Studies
Don Mitchell, Distinguished Professor of Geography
Chandra Mohanty, Distinguished Professor of Woman’s and Gender Studies
Laurel Morton, President, Adjuncts United
Jason Newton, PhD candidate, History Department
William Oliver, Graduate Student, Sociology
Tracy Peterchak, Graduate Student, Sociology
Jessica Posner, Part-Time Instructor in Transmedia Core, Department of Transmedia
Gretchen Purser, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Tod Rutherford, Professor of Geography
Eileen Schell, Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric
Jessie Speer, Graduate Student, Geography
Fabiola Ortiz, Graduate Student, Anthropology
Matthew Victor, Undergraduate Student, Newhouse
Evan Weissman, Assistant Professor, Food Studies
James Williams, Adjunct Professor, College of Law