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This Week in the PSC

This Week at PSC (3.7.11): PSC Gets on the Bus to Albany

Mar 07, 2011

Get on the Bus to Albany
CUNY is under attack, but budget cuts are not inevitable—there is still time to affect this year’s budget. Sign up right now for the Student-Faculty Higher Education Advocacy Day on March 15th and we’ll register you for lobby visits in Albany attended by students, faculty and staff. To register, contact Amanda Magalhaes (212-354-1252 ext 221) by 5:00pm Thursday. This is an all-day event. We’ll be departing from borough-specific bus pickups around 6:00am and returning after dark. Food will be provided. CUNY students can sign up by stopping by their local student government or NYPIRG office or by contacting Uruj Sheik. More details and a flier to pass out to students and colleagues can be downloaded from the PSC website.

NYSUT’s Committee of 100 Lobby Day is scheduled for March 21-22. At that event, union members from all across the state will descend on Albany to call for continuation of the “millionaires’ tax,” and oppose cuts to higher education and attacks on collective bargaining rights. Amanda Magalhaes (212-354-1252 ext 221) is the contact for that event.

Community College Faculty and Staff: Register to Testify Before the City Council
Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez will host a hearing examining the impact of the Mayor’s proposed cuts to CUNY next Friday, March 18th in the 14th floor hearing room at 250 Broadway. At the hearing, CUNY will speak from 12:00-1:30pm. After that, public testimony will be accepted from 1:30-4:00pm. PSC President Barbara Bowen will deliver the Union’s formal testimony. Members who wish to offer personal testimony can sign up as they arrive at the hearing. Amanda Magalhaes (212-354-1252 ext 221) can help provide background information, details of the proposed cuts and talking points for members who wish to testify. Please encourage your students to testify as well.

Junior Faculty Professional Development Day
The challenges junior faculty face can be daunting, but you don’t have to face them alone. On Saturday, March 12th from 12:00-5:00pm at the PSC offices (61 Broadway, 16th floor union hall) the PSC will host its annual Junior Faculty Development Day. The program, entitled How to Survive and Thrive at CUNY, will bring new and experienced faculty together to share ideas and experiences and discuss ways to ensure that untenured faculty can succeed at CUNY. Contact PSC Organizing Coordinator Deirdre Brill (212-354-1252) for more information.

Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Commemoration
Friday, March 25th is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. One hundred and forty-six young women factory workers died in the fire, the deadliest industrial disaster in NYC history. Scores of events are scheduled this month throughout the City to commemorate the horrible event, which galvanized the movement for labor and social justice. The previous day, the Murphy Center will host a day-long gathering of unionists, public officials, scholars and students to examine a wide range of issues that reflect the complexity and importance of the fire’s legacy. Titled “Out of the Smoke and the Flame: The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and its Legacy,” the event will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Thursday, March 24, 9:00am – 6:30pm. Registration is free and open to the public. Visit the PSC website for a list of other notable events.

Academic Freedom and the New McCarththyism
Frances Fox Piven and Kristofer Petersen-Overton will join a panel of experts to discuss the struggle for academic freedom in the past, present, and future on Monday, March 14th at 6:00pm in room 201 of the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave. The event, entitled Academic Freedom and the New McCarthyism, is sponsored by the Adjunct Project. Piven and Petersen-Overton will join their colleagues Ashley Dawson and Carol Smith in discussion. Dawson is a Professor of English, CUNY Graduate Center and co-editor of Dangerous Professors: Academic Freedom and the National Security Campus. Carol Smith is a retired faculty member from The City College of New York and curator of the online exhibit “The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42.” Topics will include political strategies that might are needed to challenge assaults on academic expression and faculty due process.

Ben Chitty Recognized for Health and Safety Activism
Arthur Ben Chitty, Library Systems Officer (HEO) at Queens College, has won the bi-annual NYSUT “Unsung Hero” Award for Health and Safety grass roots organizing. Chitty was recognized by the statewide union for his work in creating and maintaining an ongoing Quality of Work Life group at Queens with representatives from all unions on the campus. Ben Chitty, like his work, is an inspiration to us all. To read the text of Ben’s acceptance speech visit the Health and Safety Watchdogs page of the PSC website.

PSC’s First Environmental Justice Awards
PSC is cosponsoring the 10th Annual Nature Ecology and Society (NES) Colloquium “The Culture of Climate Change” at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Martin Segal Theater (365 Fifth Ave.) on Thursday and Friday, March 10-11. The PSC will sponsor a round table at the colloquium entitled “Toward Food Justice at CUNY: Sourcing to Composting” on Friday at 2:00pm. Health and Safety Watchdogs Jean Grassman, Joan Greenbaum and Nancy Romer will lead that discussion.

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