One of the things I’ve been curious about in this whole thing is just how is Fallon et al responding to students and other folks about the strike? I haven’t received a response to my letters to the administration, and I don’t expect to hear anything, either.
With this in mind, you can imagine how I was interested in receiving a completely unsolicited email from a student about his/her exchange with Fallon. Here’s the letter that he/she wrote (and I should point out that this person said it was okay for me to put it up on my web site):
I have been following the negotiations closely as the school year approaches. The more I watch, the more disappointed I become with the actions of the University. Outside of the strikeitselfand the motivations of each side to pursue said strike, the University is not acting appropriately with respect to the students. EMUâ€™s website has subtly demonized the faculty by emphasizing that the strike is illegal, by calling the strike a â€œwork stoppage,â€� and by stating that â€œEMU staff are committedâ€¦â€� implying that the faculty are not.
What the University has ostensibly failed to take into consideration is the fact that many students are close with their professors. As a senior, I spend a lot of time with my professors, working with them both in and out of class. I have been reading not just EMUâ€™s take on the strike, but also the AAUPâ€™s position, as well as the positions of individual faculty who have been keeping students updated. Itâ€™s not what they say that has swayed me to their side, itâ€™s how they are saying it. Instead of attempting to make the University look bad, or even themselves look good, they stress the tension and difficulties on both sides of the strike without casting any direct barbs at the administration. The administration has not had the decorum to do likewise, and as a result, are insulting my professors, men and women with whom I have worked closely for years.
The actions of the University also insult me, because they assume that I am uninformed (by stressing that the strike is illegal â€“ itâ€™s Michigan, all strikes by teachers are illegal); already on their side (Why should I be? Most of my contact at the University is with faculty, not staff); and opposed to the strike and/or the reasons behind it (I agree completely with the faculty. The Universityâ€™s offer is a pay cut, not a pay raise, full time faculty should be teaching more of the classes, and the conditions of many of the classrooms are not conducive to learning).
Villainizing the faculty will not make the administration and staff look any better, instead vice versa; and the Universityâ€™s actions are an insult to the faculty and to the students.
(student’s name here)
That’s pretty good, don’t you think? You can’t complain about this student not being able to write a sentence or anything like that, and he/she certainly focused in on an apsect of the discourse here, the problems of “villianizing” of faculty, why this person identifies with the faculty and not the administration, etc., etc. Good job.
Okie-dokie; so what did Fallon say? Well, according to the student who sent me this email, this:
Thanks so much studentnamehere. I appreciate the benefit of your perspectives and your willingness to share them.
Of course, I see things a little differently. Rather than argue with your contentions, I would simply say this: I have confidence in the systems and processes that are being deployed to resolve this matter and the people who are engaged in them. I have said here on this campus, and behaved to back this up with behavior on countless occasions, that our core business is teaching learning and students and faculty are the most important people who work here. I do not demonize of villainize our faculty, subtly or otherwise; rather, I feel the high privilege of working in their support…every day.
Again, thank you.
I think this is probably a mix between “real writing” and “boilerplate” letter, but it does have a feel of actually being written by DA MAN.
In any event, I’m kind of biased, but I like the student’s email a whole lot better. Besides the complete bullshit about “supporting faculty” in Fallon’s letter, he doesn’t have an iota of support for his point.
What that means for me then is that the score is students 1, administration 0.
If anyone has anything else to send me along these lines, feel free.