Candidates for WCCFT Elected Positions in 2023-2025: E-board, Negotiating Team and Sick Bank
The biannual election of union leaders concluded on April 26, 2023. As part of this process all candidates for office were invited to submit statements describing their experience and/or reason for serving.
President (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: I have been proud and honored to serve as your Union President for the past four years, and to be nominated now to serve an additional term. They have been challenging years, to say the least, as we’ve battled through a pandemic that turned our world and the landscape of higher education upside down. The way that you all rose to that challenge (and many others) and continue to provide outstanding education and service to our students is the source of deepest pride and inspiration for me. As President for the 2023-25 term, I promise to keep the needs and best interests of our faculty front and center as my guiding light, relying as always on our exemplary Executive Committee and Negotiating Team as we engage in bargaining, protect faculty rights, and maintain our commitment to ensure the College provides you with the best working conditions possible. Thank you!
Vice President (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: I have enjoyed serving in the role of Vice President and Grievance chair for the last four years, and I would like to thank the membership for considering my current candidacy to continue in this role. Although I’ve served in different capacities at the college, this position has been the most fulfilling because it gives me the opportunity to meet with my faculty peers across different departments and divisions. Hearing your concerns and issues and working with you to improve conditions at WCC motivates me to work harder on your behalf. Whether it’s introducing a new shop steward model, negotiating the contract, meeting with local legislators, or filing grievances, I promise to continue fighting for your rights.
Secretary (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: My goal is an equity based contract to be negotiated within two years. I received relevant training through NYSUT including running contract negotiations as a multi-level campaign, forming strategic alliances with other stakeholders, mobilizing our base and creating a dynamic public relations presence. A coalition with other SUNY community colleges is long overdue and through NYSUT I have contacts throughout the state. I also have a nationwide database of community college contracts to use to compare WCCFT contract terms. By updating our membership rolls, we learned that HR/payroll often miscodes (drops) members and I know the breakdown of adjunct faculty across divisions. I developed a multi-faceted strategic plan for more equitable teaching conditions, a trifold and poster for adjunct faculty, and invited Piper Light from the NY State of Health marketplace to a membership meeting so our faculty know they and their families have access to affordable health care.
Candidate statement: During my twenty years of teaching in the Biology Department, I have had multiple leadership experiences that I would bring to the WCCFT Executive Board. As a union member, I have been on two negotiating committees (Chair Responsibilities [2015, as a member], and Promotion Credentials [2018, as Co-Chair]). In the Faculty Senate, I served on the Executive Committee (2011-2019 [as Secretary] and 2019-May 2023 [as Presiding Officer]). These experiences have allowed me to develop an understanding of the Administration that has led to several successful negotiations on faculty issues. Additionally, my leadership experience in accreditation actions has deepened my understanding of our institutional structure which could benefit the Executive Board (Self-Study Chair of Standard 10 on Faculty , Co-Chair of MSCHE Progress Report , and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of our current Self-Study). Therefore, based on my experience and my desire to serve, I respectfully ask for your support.
Treasurer (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: I have served as the Treasurer of the Union for the past two years and have gained wonderful insight about our budgets and how our local functions. My background at the college starts in 2001 when I became part of the accounting department. In the department I have served as acting department chair, and as curriculum chair, as Faculty Senator and as Treasurer of the faculty senate. I have chaired and served on multiple senate and college committees. I believe my background and my professional training is a great asset that I bring to our Union. The financial stability and proper reporting of Union budgets is a priority for me. I will continue to do my best to keep our union strong.
Adjunct Representative (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
ERIC DE SENA
Candidate statement: Eric De Sena is an adjunct professor in the Depts. of History and Art History. He began teaching at WCC in 2018. In 2021, he was elected to the WCCFT’s E-Board as the Adjunct Representative. In 2022, he joined the WCCFT Negotiation Team. As Adjunct Representative, De Sena has served as a liaison between adjuncts and the Union, raising questions and concerns. De Sena regularly communicates with the adjunct community through the Union’s newsletter, WCCFT Connect, email, and social media. He believes that adjuncts deserve significantly better pay and greater appreciation by college administrators throughout the USA. He will continue to fight the good fight and get into good trouble on behalf of WCC’s adjunct and full time faculty in the next two years.
FT Teaching Representative (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: Not submitted
FT Non-Teaching Representative (E-Board and Negotiating Team):
Candidate statement: Thank you for considering me for the Non-Teaching representative position on the Executive Board. I have been involved with the Union since 2013 and have served on the Negotiation team since 2019. Due to the timing, when we finally get to close out the current contract, we will need to begin negotiations almost immediately for the next contract. Those of you who know me know I will not back down and will see us through the next few years. I have a strong commitment to creating a safe, fair, and equitable work atmosphere at WCC and hope that my voice on the executive board will be helpful.
At-large Executive Committee members (up to 5 – E-board ONLY):
Candidate statement: I have served on the WCCFT Executive Committee under three union presidents. My primary contributions are publishing our newsletter twice a semester and managing our website, sunywccft.org. I would like to continue serving my colleagues in this capacity.
GWEN ROUNDTREE EVANS
Candidate statement: Dr. Gwendolyn Roundtree Evans has served as a member of the counseling and teaching faculty of SUNY Westchester Community College for over 30 years. As a Full Professor, she is Director of the Educational Opportunity Program and has served as the College’s Coordinator of Transfer Services and Minority Group Concerns. She was Co-Chair of the Adjunct Committee with the previous administration and currently holds the position of Chair for the Faculty Professional Development Fund Committee. Dr. Roundtree Evans would like to continue to support her colleagues as an At-large Executive Committee Member and she would like to express her gratitude for your consideration.
Dr. Gwen Roundtree Evans
Candidate statement: Joyce Cassidy has been teaching mathematics courses at Westchester Community College for the past 32 years, starting in 1991. She has experience teaching a range of courses in mathematics, from Prealgebra to Calculus III, and has held several leadership roles during her tenure at WCC. In here early days at the college, Joyce was a student for one semester, a tutor in The Academic Support Center, and an Adjunct Faculty member. She has served as an Assistant Chair (Adjunct Coordinator), Co-Chair, and Department Chair within the department. Working with the students of the community, serving on departmental and campus-wide committees, have been some of the most enjoyable experiences for Joyce. Joyce has been pleased to serve on the WCCFT Eboard in the past, with the most recent completion of the revised Constitution. Currently, Joyce is seeking a position for an At-Large Executive Board role. Thank you!
Negotiating Team Alternate (Negotiating Team ONLY): NONE
Sick Bank Trustees:
Candidate statement: “I’m a full time faculty member of the Computer Information Technologies Department for the past 34 years and a former chairperson for 18 years. I am pleased to continue serving in my role as sick bank trustee.”
Candidate statement: “I have served as a sick bank trustee for the last two years and I hope to be able to continue serving in that role. Thank you for your vote.”