The Strike of 2006: From this afternoon's student rally

I couldn’t be at the student rally this afternoon, but one of my colleagues was there. He sends these words and pictures:

“Today (9/6) at 4:00 a sizeable (~40?) group of students gathered in front of Welch hall to voice their support for the faculty in the ongoing strike and negotiations for a fair contract. They began by cheering beside the fountain, and after 10 minutes or so, as their numbers grew, a bull-horn emerged, and the chant extended, and they marched around, and then THROUGH Welch hall, calling on the administration to come back to the negotiation table.

“We’re here! Where are you?
Administration EMU-
No contract–No class!

“While the numbers were by no means huge, many of the faculty who witnessed it were moved by the gesture.”

I’ll mention two other things: first, as my colleague told me, these students were LOUD, complete with a bull-horn. To top it all off, they took their rally, bull-horn and all, through Welch Hall (e.g., where the administrators live). Pretty cool, and the thing is it’s not like the administration is going to get them arrested.

Second, my wife and son and I drove by Welch Hall at about 5:30 or so, and there was still a pretty good-sized group out there. Anyway, I for one certainly appreciate the support.

Here are some pictures:

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3 Responses to The Strike of 2006: From this afternoon's student rally

  1. Steve,

    I was one of the students at the Rally today. We were around for about 2 hours and walked around campus, but mostly around Welch.

    They were not too happy when we walked through Welch chanting, but we knew that when it happened. We strongly support our faculty and have been collecting signatures outside of the union all day.

    We will be back there tomorrow, we have the table staffed until at least 5pm. We have two more rallies planned – at 11am and at 4pm.

    The students have been very supportive. I’d say maybe 1 out of every 25 said that they didn’t support the faculty. We heard many positive comments from the faculty when we were walking around and collecting signatures.

    After the rally ended, we were all around talking briefly about tomorrow when Jim Vick came out and invited some of us in to speak with him and one of the negotiators on the EMU team. It was nice to see them opening up some communication with us and they seemed to agree with us on a lot of our points. We are highly disappointed in their lack of information being released until a strike occurred. We also don’t like the decline in the number of faculty teaching classes, although the EMU negotiator (whose name slips me right now) told us that the number of faculty has actually increased in the past few years whereas administration has decreased.

    Either way, we made our point about supporting the faculty to them and that we want to see EMU return to the table and continue negotiation and that by them walking away they were giving a bad public image to EMU. According to both of them, they felt that nothing would be accomplished until the weekend and at that point things would get resolved by Monday.

    I guess we’ll see. I snapped a picture and uploaded it at http://www.alienz.net/temp/DSCN8014-sm.jpg

    Mike Garrison
    EMU Junior / CS Major

  2. Jeff says:

    Mike-

    As a faculty member, I can say we appreciate the support. I think a lot of us spent yesterday feeling like a fish out of water, and the supportive comments we’ve gotten have really helped boost our spirits. Thanks for realizing we really, truly are on your side in this.

  3. AWemu says:

    Dear Mike and other student supporters, I was SO moved when we drove past campus and saw the group of students protesting on our behalf. Thank you for supporting the faculty and the school. It really means a lot to all of us. — Annette Wannamaker, (who is hoping things get settled BEFORE Monday so I can teach my Monday class).

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