Report from the Board of Trustees Rallies

RallyApproximately 200 students, staff, and faculty conducted a two-day informational rally outside the Board of Trustees meeting this week.  The coalition was formed to address concerns that the prioritization process was leaving out those who mattered most – those who attend Columbia (students), those who teach at Columbia (faculty), and those who help make things work (staff).

During the two days of rallies, we passed out leaflets to the community and letters to the Trustees coming into the meeting, including Board Chairman Allen Turner. We heard speeches from Reverend Coulter of Arise Chicago and The Secretary Treasurer of the IEA, Al Llorens, who offered IEA’s support.  There was lots of singing, marching and chanting — “Prioritize who? Prioritize Us!”

While USofCC was not allowed to speak at the full Board meeting, Mr. Turner did send letters to both unions—USofCC and P-Fac— inviting them to meet with him after the holidays.

At the close of the rally, Columbia students made the decision to go to the 5th floor administrative office to request a meeting with the administration over concerns regarding the Colleges’ failure to account for students’ concerns and campus-wide issues regarding the treatment of the faculty and staff.

As a result of this, the administration agreed to have a town-hall meeting on Friday, December 9, 2011 between the hours of 1pm-2pm on the 8th floor faculty lounge of the 600 Building.

We are grateful for the support and participation of all those who attended or supported the rally. We note that a letter from Human Resources categorized the rally as designed to “circumvent” the bargaining process.  On the contrary, it is quite normal and acceptable for those who believe their voices are not being heard or respected to exercise their rights to protest.

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