Everyone Deserves a Voice


*originally posted 11/8/15

Dear SSC Colleagues,

The last few weeks, Stark State College has been a flurry of activity. Information about new programs and executive-level hiring has been communicated through emails or the college’s social media and press release pages. At least, that’s where most of us seem to be learning about major changes at the institution.

We have learned about executive restructuring and hiring via email; however, faculty openings are now relegated to the college’s Facebook page. As our satellites are increasingly losing money, we learn the college is working to acquire another building for a satellite in Akron.

Increasing pressure is being put on programs with low student majors, yet we only see newspaper articles, promotional events, and sponsored ads for a select few of our programs. In department meetings, faculty are repeatedly asked for suggestions on ways to recruit new majors, but don’t worry—there is no budget for marketing our programs. Get creative in your approach, and think of ways that you can volunteer your time to help make it happen. Do us this favor; it’s for the students.

At Stark AAUP, we believe that every member of the Stark State College community counts.

Classes are getting cut; students can’t complete their degrees; faculty and staff are taking on more “with less” across the institution; money is being spent even though we are told that we can’t afford to pay our people respectable wages. They wish they could pay us more, but enrollment is down, and remember, you don’t work all year.

Attend any meeting around campus, and it is evident the passion and dedication that faculty and staff feel when it comes to fighting for our students and their futures.  But it is time to start asking uncomfortable questions, Stark State College. When do we, the people who dedicate our lives to the institution and its students, gain an equitable voice in the process? When do we, as faculty and staff, apply the same passion to standing up for ourselves? When do we start to matter?

Members of our executive committee are routinely approached and asked “Why AAUP?” We formed this organization because we believe that every member of our college community should be treated fairly, equitably, and respectfully, regardless of department, years of service, or personal affiliations. We tried to be a part of the current system, and in short, the current system often ignored, belittled, or downright failed us. At Stark AAUP, we believe that every member of the Stark State College community counts. And we have spent the last few years fighting for those very things because we believe in these principles, and we are not afraid to stand up and voice our support for our colleagues.

Are you tired of seeing your paycheck shrink while your responsibilities increase? Are you tired of being afraid for your job as you read about a new, innovative program the college has launched in the newspaper? Are you tired of witnessing inequality among your peers? Are you tired of being beaten down, ignored, and disregarded? Are you tired of feeling like no one is listening?

We are listening. Join us.