As students, we stand in solidarity with our faculty and coaches in their fight for a fair contract. Our faculty are the foundation of the PASSHE system. They uphold the highest standards of education. They work every day to support students, in and out of the classroom.
We’re organizing statewide to make our voices heard—for faculty, for the future of higher education in Pennsylvania, and for us, to build student power. Here’s what you can do: (1) Sign the petition by Tuesday, October 4. (2) Get as many friends as you can to sign it. You can print it out here. (3) Join us in Harrisburg on October 6—message us on Facebook or email us for more information!
Why do we stand with faculty? Scroll down to read our stories.
The faculty at Lock Haven University have defined my education. My daily success as a student is directly affected by my professors, and their encouragement and support have made me the student I am today. Professors’ continuing investment in my education and success has caused me to, in turn, be invested in their well-being. Our state system faculties are not receiving fair contract negotiations. I support the faculty in the decisions they have and may make. Although a strike seems as though it will negatively affect over 100,000 students’ education, in reality, unfair treatment of our faculty will damage Pennsylvania state education. This is why I will continue pleading with the state system to negotiate a fair contract with the faculty of our PASSHE schools.
– Shelby Helwig, Lock Haven University, Class of 2017, Psychology Major
I believe that as students we have an obligation to remain in solidarity with APSCUF’s consideration of a strike because the future of higher education across Pennsylvania is dependent on the contract details they are fighting against. It is absolutely appalling that the system wishes to degrade our professors’ working conditions by cutting their starting pay, decreasing their potential for professional advancement, and creating the potential for reassignments to different departments. If they are successful in this, they will in turn degrade the overall value of the degrees we will earn. Our universities need fair contracts for faculty so that they can continue attract and retain the highest qualified faculty to meet the education demands that face both our state and nation. We must support our Universities and ask more from the state system not less!
– Justin Silverstrim, Lock Haven University, Class of 2019, Pre-Physician Assistant Major
During instances of injustice, those who are silent are contributors to the oppression of those they choose to disregard. Such is a heavy burden to bear, but the responsibility is shared among us all. The treatment of the faculty and coaches within the PASSHE system is unjustifiable. In a time of need at my university, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, I vividly remember faculty members standing in solidarity with us as we fought to keep our beloved institution alive. Who are we to then turn a blind eye and abandon them, leaving them to walk alone after they stood beside us marching through the capital just a year ago?
If we separate ourselves from the faculty’s need to have a new contract, their right to adequate healthcare, to ignore the underestimation of their pertinent role in providing quality education, we are isolating ourselves on a drowning ship. I stand with the faculty and coaches because they are deserving of fair treatment as human beings, but additionally because the state of their livelihood affects me as well. The well-being of those who educate us, who lead the way for us, is our business. In holding them closely we are in return nurturing ourselves and the generations to follow.
– Shaneka Briggs, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017, English Major
As a student, my priority is to receive the best education possible in order to eventually become a professional in my field. As of right now, PASSHE, the system in which I am funding and trusting to give me a quality education is failing it’s 110,000 students. PASSHE is proposing new ways to cut costs and give us a watered down education. For example, PASSHE wants graduate students, who only have a bachelor’s degree, to be teaching courses to students attaining a bachelor’s degree. I am choosing to stand in solidarity with APSCUF to help assist in the fight for the preservation of my education. Let us help them help us!
– Cheyenne Port, Shippensburg University, Class of 2018, Social Work Major
Dear Chancellor, the contract that you propose does not favor of students if we are being taught by graduate students, and if classes we’ve always had in person are online. Furthermore, faculty should be able to get tenure and be allowed to stay at the university if they choose instead of having to move onto another campus. If faculty have to move elsewhere, it hinders students. If we needed a recommendation letter, it would be extremely hard to track them down, damaging the social network that will help us obtain jobs and internships. How is the contract for our faculty fair if it not only hurts our faculty in the long run, but the current and future students of Kutztown University as well?
– Jacqueline Dixon, Kutztown University, Class of 2017, Marine Science Major
At IUP, we are forming a coalition of students to help educate the rest of the student body on what is happening between PASSHE and APSCUF. We are also hoping to bring a big group to support faculty at the Board of Governors meeting on October 6. We want to stir the pot, mix things up, and show PASSHE that students care about our education.
– Regan Gearhart, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017, Anthropology Major
As a student of Slippery Rock University, I have a lot of pride in my school. We have such an amazing student body, faculty, and accredited programs. The faculty here at the university are some of the most dedicated people I have ever met. Faculty are always supportive of students inside the classroom and out. Whenever I have a question or problem, academic or otherwise, the amazing faculty are always available to help. As a sophomore with a 19 credit load, seeking help from my professors is something I do quite frequently. Whenever a faculty member helps me with a problem I know that they actually want me to succeed and that they aren’t just going through the motions.
The programs at Slippery Rock are also incredible. As a freshman I was an “Exploratory” student. As I carefully looked at each major here on campus, I had to comb through pages and pages of accredited programs. I finally declared my major in social work. After meeting with the amazing faculty in the department and talking about plans for after graduation, I took in a lot of information. I learned about the program and the advanced standing which would help me gain a master’s degree in one year. Professors in and out of my major are always willing to help with decision-making process and were willing to answer any questions I had. With my time left at Slippery Rock, I am looking forward to working closely with my professors.
– Leah Rousso, Slippery Rock University, Class of 2019, Social Work Major
I support the faculty of Bloomsburg University because I see their work and dedication every day. There are professors working in classrooms, office hours, as advisors, and in extracurriculars making sure that students are getting the best experience in our education. My choice to support the faculty also comes from what I believe will be best for my education and the education of my friends here at Bloomsburg. I listened to both sides and looked at the information, and made an educated opinion on what I believe can have the most benefits for the university. I hope that more students will look at all the information and take a stand. We are only getting bits and pieces of information mostly through word of mouth where it can be exaggerated or taken out of context.
In addition to supporting the faculty, I am also supporting the university community as a whole. When the contract negotiations are over and finalized, everyone still needs to work together and continue their lives on campus. Respect and compassion should be remembered.
– Emily Moglia, Bloomsburg University, Class of 2018, Early Education and Special Education Major
At Clarion, we sympathize with our professors, and we understand that a strike may be necessary. I feel that if the time comes, the student body will stand in solidarity with our professors.
– Dan Corridori, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017, Political Science Major
I support my faculty because they deserve to be treated fairly to teach me. As a music student, I came to Millersville University to be taught by the faculty that are here. All of the music courses are taught in a very specific system, one that is very well-integrated within the department. Everyone here is excellent at what they do, and they deserve to be paid and treated as such. Additionally, if the usage of graduate students to teach us is introduced, even in a small form, they would likely not be equipped to teach according to the needs of the department. Professors are humans too, and it’s about time that they get treated as such with a fair contract.
– Connor Buckley, Millersville University, Class of 2020, Music Education Major
East Stroudsburg University prides itself on the warrior image. It is our mascot, our slogan, and our way of life. If we are the Warriors, our faculty are our leaders, and we stand with them just as they always stand with us, no matter what we choose to do or what path we choose to take in life. Long hours, short breaks, and always at our beck and call, the faculty goes above and beyond to make sure that they give us what we need around the clock. Why would we, as students of this university, not take a stand when those who support us need us most? If anyone thinks they can take us for granted, they are mistaken. We will fight. We will not be silent. That is the warrior way.
– Ariel Mickey, East Stroudsburg University, Class of 2018, Secondary and Special Education Major
This semester at Edinboro University, we have been petitioning the student body, providing information, starting a conversation to provoke thought and action concerning the issues. Our mission is to support our teachers in a thoughtful way, to prevent the state from pressuring them into a deal which would affect their performance as educators. We want a fair deal to provide the best environment possible at Edinboro. We want a voice in the negotiation—a voice to say, we are supporting our teachers!
– Andrew Davis, Edinboro University, Class of 2018, Social Work Major
As our campus moves closer to a strike, it’s about time we send a message to the folks in Harrisburg: bureaucratic, capitalist-fueled, and cowardly agendas will not lead the future of our state system. As students, we have a vested interest in sharing our own thoughts and voices to this fight. When our faculty hurt, we hurt. We are one collective force. We aren’t just educators and students, we are friends and comrades and beneficiaries of one another. Our educators shine lights down paths we cannot yet see. They have taken on the burden that budget cuts have left them. The faculty at our university have made themselves pillars of our personal journeys of triumph and success. We are not naive, we do not see through rose-colored glasses. We, the students of West Chester University, see the actions of Chancellor Brogan exactly for what they are and stand in solidarity with APSCUF.
– Sabina Sister, West Chester University, Class of 2017, Women and Gender Studies and Political Science Major