- Riley Jay Sironen
EMU-AAUP v. EMU - A Student's Perspective
I was - and still am - so excited about going back to grad school this fall at Eastern Michigan University. Four years later after completing my Bachelors, I decided I was ready to take the real-world knowledge I had learned and make it professional, degree-worthy knowledge. And there was no doubt in my mind I was going to receive that Masters back at EMU. The faculty I had worked with had gone the extra mile to help me succeed in my undergrad and now I wanted to show them what I had accomplished and how I had grown.
Unfortunately, the first two weeks of school have not gone as planned. And this is to no one’s fault except the establishment’s. Faculty members of the EMU AAUP had contracts that expired on August 31 and, to the lacking powers that be at our university, these same faculty members have been in our classrooms without a new, fair contract. Currently, they are fighting against:
“- EMU faculty wages are among the lowest in the MAC. Since 2018, they have not even kept pace with inflation!
- EMU Administration has slashed the Instructional Budget by $11 million since 2017, but increased their own budget by $2 million.
- The number of faculty members has decreased by approximately 25% in the past five years.
- The administration is demanding cuts to the health care budget for faculty, while raising their own salaries.”
And yesterday, during a peaceful protest, these faculty workers were served with a lawsuit from the university for not being in their classrooms.
What the university fails to see in all of this is, that our professors are still teaching us. Maybe not out of a textbook like they want for their ’picture perfect image’ but they are teaching us by sticking up for themselves. By showing us in real time how ugly the real world can be and what it looks like to make a beautiful again. It’s not that our professors don’t care about us by not being in our classes these last two weeks, it’s that they care so much, that they are putting everything on the line to teach us what they have longed to share with us.
The faculty at EMU has changed my life forever and I wouldn’t be here today without them. Please, I am begging you, do your part. The EMU AAUP slogan is, “Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions” and I believe that with my full heart.
Sign the petition: https://tinyurl.com/kxf8jx5a
Send an email using this template to our President & Board of Regents: https://tinyurl.com/mrjhr4x3