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News :: Education : Labor
The Emerson Student Strike
22 Apr 2005
Last Wednesday and Thursday, Emerson students went on strike in support of our faculty union, struggling to keep their union contracts and shared governance. The professors have had a union for thirty years, but now as the administration takes steps to move the college towards becoming more of a corporation and less of a place of education, the administration is trying to bust the union. On Wednesday and Thursday, a large portion of the Emerson student body boycotted class. We had a march and rally of about 300 on Wednssday, and slightly more on Thursday. From what I've been able to figure most of the student population went on strike, but there's really no way of knowing exactly how many did, as a lot of teachers didn't mark boycotting students absent.
Tremont.jpg
the Emerson Student Strike
tremont2.jpg
the Emerson Student Strike
friday.jpg
the Emerson Student Strike
teacher.jpg
the Emerson Student Strike
Last Wednesday and Thursday, Emerson students went on strike in support of our faculty union, struggling to keep their union contracts and shared governance. The professors have had a union for thirty years, but now as the administration takes steps to move the college towards becoming more of a corporation and less of a place of education, the administration is trying to bust the union. On Wednesday and Thursday, a large portion of the Emerson student body boycotted class. We had a march and rally of about 300 on Wednssday, and slightly more on Thursday. From what I've been able to figure most of the student population went on strike, but there's really no way of knowing exactly how many did, as a lot of teachers didn't mark boycotting students absent.

Jackie Lebergot, the school's president, was once one of the main organizers and promoters of the union. Now that she is rich and in power, however, she will do anything she can to break the union in the name of her own profit. She is refusing to negotiate with the union, or to agree to legally binding 3rd party arbitration. On Thursday, as the march dwindled down, about 70 or more people stormed the Tufte building on Boylston Street, marched up to the 6th floor, suprising, beseiging, and severely embarrassing the school's union-busting president. She had to be escorted out by the campus police, and she ducked out a back alley (we were blocking the main entrances) and we got photos of her running out of the alley across Tremont Street. No one was arrested, as the security gaurds did nothing to stop us and the real police never even entered the building.

On Friday, we did an informational picket of sorts pretty much all day, as a ton of perspective students were on campus. Last year, the faculty, just handing out fliers, caused the lowest rate of accepted students who decided to attend Emerson College in decades. We handed out fliers at registration (from 8 until about 11) and covered just about everyone. Later, during our visually catching informational picket (complete with a 10 foot orange puppet) we talked to a ton of really concerned mothers. We hope this year we made an effect on the economics of the school, as money is the only thing the administration cares about or will listen to. Now we wait for the reaction of the administration. This dispute is far from over. The faculty have vowed to escalate their tactics as time goes by if the union-busting administration continues to refuse to negotiate or arbitrate. The students will continue to stand with the faculty and their union. We will not let Jackie degrade our school with this union busting nonsense.
No justice, no peace

-Jake

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MAKE THEM RUN!
22 Apr 2005
Good work emerson!
Here is a must read student classic.
On the poverty of student life>
http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/poverty.htm#N_12_
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
23 Apr 2005
great article and pictures jake. thanks for keeping us updated, and much solidarity to you. speaking of students going on strike and ideas for action, here's another "must read" that i found recently and really enjoyed about the history of rebellion on the Harvard campus:
http://www.thestudentunderground.org/article.php?Issue=49&ArticleID=429
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
26 Apr 2005
I don't really feel much solidarity with a bunch of rich kids walking out on the school they paid $30,000 to attend.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
26 Apr 2005
The whole internal workings of Emerson exemplify that the culture's ideas of success are way out of wack with a basic commitment to knowledge. Please keep up your important reportage.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
26 Apr 2005
good for u for standing with the teachers/ workers. Too few schools do this, and the grad students/teachers are suffering for it!
Thank You, and please keep up the good work.
Stay hard on this issue!
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
26 Apr 2005
Vote with your feet!!! Don't pay 30k per year! Go to Bunker Hill Community College instead!
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
27 Apr 2005
., Tim, and any other trolls, can I suggest you reread the article? These kids didn't walk out on their own behalf, demanding lower tuition or something. They walked out in support of their professors. Agree with the action or not, I would this would indicate that they take their education very seriously--they're acting in support of the people who are teaching them, they want to see the conditions their professors work under improve.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
28 Apr 2005
I do not appreciate your term "troll." I do not agree with their actions. That does not make me a troll. The fact that they are supporting their professors makes no difference. They are a rich bunch of spoiled brats who should vote with their feet and leave. That would show true conviction.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
28 Apr 2005
tim,

how would students ceasing to attend the university help the faculty keep their union? seems like they can make much more difference by staying at the university...

i think people have called you a troll, because your arguments make no sense in regards to the article, whether you're in agreement or not. if you say something pertinent, i bet the troll label will disappear.

congrats to emerson students for showing solidarity with their faculty!
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
28 Apr 2005
Yes, exactly. If you seemed like you were actually engaged with the material in the article, instead of just making fun of the students because you didn't agree with them, I wouldn't have called you a troll.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
29 Apr 2005
Well they are, in fact, just a bunch of rich brats. In addition, the professors don't know how good they actually have it. They have cushy jobs and great pay and all they can do is complain? They should work the fields with the migrant workers of California for a week. I'm sure that after the first few days, they'll have a better appreciation of Emerson. The students should also try it for a week. They'll too have a better appreciation of their easy lives.
Re: The Emerson Student Strike
01 May 2005
Jake,

So glad to see some students posting. Keep it up! Hot stuff...