Last year, our union worked directly with NYSUT to host a press conference at the college to highlight the financial pressures faced by community colleges as a result of low enrollment. The WCCFT along with NYSUT, county and state legislators and the college administration appealed to the state for increased funding. The state responded positively by holding their funding flat to X year.
In the days leading up to the press conference, NYSUT was suggested that the union recruit students to speak at the conference. My business department colleagues, and I immediately identified a student that we thought had benefited from our programs – Joseph Aratingi. Not only did Joey accept our invitation to speak, his words of praise for the faculty were genuine and heartfelt.
After the press conference, Joey mentioned that his sister, Marisa, had been accepted to Cornell’s prestigious School Industrial Labor and Relations and that she was seeking mentorship for her year-end high school project. I couldn’t think of a better way to thank Joey than to offer my help to Marisa. Marisa and I worked together over four weeks, and I am pleased to introduce a series of interviews over the next few newsletters that Marisa conducted with key members of NYSUT and our union.
I wish Marisa and Joey Aratingi the best of luck in their future studies, and I greatly appreciate their support for our union.
Professor Deirdre Verne, VP, WCCFT & Grievance Chair