I got an email from a student (I think a student) I think has to do with the student protests urging what I think most faculty want at this point: get back to the table to talk. Here’s what Michael says to a mailing list of folks that are calling themselves “ESOFT” (Eastern Students, um, Faculty Talks? I’m not sure…):
Thanks for your support! If we keep this pressure on the administration, who is refusing to negotiate, perhaps they will have no other choice but to begin talks again. I feel as though both sides have been presenting counterposing data and “crunching numbers” – the faculty have generated numbers that now show the average EMU faculty salaries at all levels of professorship higher than the average for 11 other michigan schools (excluding UM, MSU, and WSU) numbers for which the exact source is unknown. We can waste are time negotiating this for the administration but what we want is the Administration to engage the AAUP in dialogue RIGHT NOW! That is our message. We want to make Eastern a better place. The Administration seems to want to use their levers of control in the media to spin this as if they have done all they can to meet faculty needs and end this strike, when in fact, they are on strike from the table! The union proposed binding arbitration, which the administration has refused. So, WE are going back to the tables tomorrow.
The table has collected around 1144 student signatures to a petition so far. They’re by the union, so if you get a chance to swing by there today and if you’re a student, go add your name. They are going to keep having protest marches around campus too, at 11 am and at 4 pm. Man, the young people have energy.
One more kind of interesting quote from this email I received that was sent out to students in this group:
We have had three rallies, one of which on tuesday night (#1) had students “storming the bastille” (Welch Hall) marching in with megaphone and 30-40 students chanting “ADMINISTRATION EMU – WE ARE HERE – WHERE ARE YOU???” Well, they were in their meeting rooms deciding how to diffuse this disturbance to their work. One officious looking lady was sent out of the meeting to send us back outside (which we respectfully did). Now, knowing the room in which they were meeting, we began with the full crowd of 50+ to chant event louder “FAIR DEAL–RIGHT NOW– FAIR DEAL RIGHT NOW — BACK TO THE TABLE — RIGHT NOW — BACK TO THE TABLE — RIGHT NOW” They were at the table speaking to themselves figuring out their next move. We chanted and marched around Welch Hall and the rest of campus for over an hour. As the rally died down, and after Howard Bunsis, AAUP Pres, spoke to us, we began to disperse. Jim Vick, VP Student Affairs, came out and invited 12 of us in to have a Q&A with Jim and his colleague, Sue Kaettelus, an administration negotiator. This was quite surreal and the whole time we were speaking, I was trying to process the numbers they were throwing at us. I was also thinking that if they can take the time to do this with us, then why not deal directly with the faculty?