Contingent Faculty on Why They Support a Union at Arcadia

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"Our dedication to students is never ‘contingent;’ it is unconditional. We are not ‘adjuncts’ in fulfilling the University mission; we are essential to it. These labels, and the working conditions that come with them, devalue the profession of teaching. I support a union to secure the same level of commitment to faculty that we make to Arcadia students and the University. The dignity of a living wage and job security will provide a stable learning environment and high-quality education for our students, and support the future success of the Arcadia community."
Chad Crisp, Adjunct Professor, English
"I love to teach, but I struggle to make ends meet. I have obtained a professional degree, yet I am not treated as an equal to those who work full-time. We need to be treated with respect. We need a living wage, benefits, and job security. We need to make higher education a sustainable career. We need a Union so we have a voice in the workplace."
Melanie Drolsbaugh, Adjunct Professor, Modern Languages and Cultures - ASL
"I am a firm believer in the democratization of all human institutions, and today, unions are an important instrument for democratizing the workplace. The faculty is at the heart of all institutions of higher education, and must feel empowered to participate in the decision-making processes of those institutions. Unions help make this possible, ultimately benefitting not only the faculty, but the entire community of learning."
Justin Fugo, Adjunct Professor, Philosophy
"I'm building a union at Arcadia because I love teaching and I want it to be sustainable. After eight years of being an adjunct, and teaching more than a full-time course load, I still have to work multiple side jobs to make ends meet. In other words, I have to work to afford my job. Even after winning a teaching award from this university, I still work without job security, without a living wage, and often go months without a paycheck from what is my full-time job. I deserve more. And our students deserve faculty who are fully supported."
Frankie Mallis, Adjunct Professor, English & First Year Seminar
"Job security would be the most important thing a union could do for me. It would be nice to know that I’m going to be working here on more than a semester-by-semester basis."
Helen Miamidian, Adjunct Professor, Sociology
"The majority of professors at Arcadia are adjuncts, but we have no job security and are not paid a living wage. Forming a union is the only way to have our concerns taken seriously."
Ellen Murphey, Adjunct Professor, First Year Seminar
"I love being a teacher, but as an adjunct, it is very difficult. There is no stability, and I never know what my course schedule will be semester to semester. Classes can be canceled at a moment's notice. Since I've been an adjunct, I've always had to work at one and sometimes two extra jobs. If my time wasn't so focused on trying to survive, I could devote more time and energy to my students. They deserve my very best, and as an adjunct, it is impossible to give."
Antoinette Peters, Adjunct Professor, First Year Seminar
"I support unionization because I care about education. A primary function of higher education is to equip young men and women with the critical thinking skills and cultural empathy required to improve society. As a culture, we teach young people to value education because it is foundational to their success (be it financial, social, personal, ect..). For a university to preach the value of education and then not demonstrate that same ideal is to practice a dangerous level of cognitive dissonance. In other words, a collegiate system based upon the exploitation of part-time workers is not only ethically questionable, it is pedagogically unsound."
Daniel Pieczkolon, Adjunct Professor, English
"I support forming a union at Arcadia University because I believe students are best supported when offered a secure and respected faculty. With how little we get paid, it's fair to say that no contingent faculty teaches for the love of money. As dedicated instructors, we deserve the peace of mind that we will have work from month to month and that we will be properly recognized for the service we offer our students and the university as a whole."
Sue Pierce, Adjunct Professor, multiple departments
"I love working at this university. And, I devote every spare minute I have to becoming a better teacher. I just wish that instead of working a second job to make ends meet, I could exclusively devote my time to teaching. I think that forming a union could benefit everyone involved. Not only would it help provide a more stable and consistent work environment, but it would also allow our students to get the most out of their education. When teachers and students are both supported, it strengthens the entire university system."
Rhianon Visinsky, Adjunct Professor, First Year Seminar
"I am a Union member already. I belong to Actor's Equity and the Teacher's Union at Montgomery County Community College. Unions are about making workplaces better, safer, and employees respected. What could possibly be wrong with that?"
Celeste Walker, Adjunct Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
"I'm building a union at Arcadia because contingent faculty are worthy of sustainable working conditions. In addition to the classes I teach, the private lessons I instruct, and the independent studies I supervise, I work directly with the faculty senate and my chair to develop and improve our curriculum. While my entire department is contingent faculty, we provide additional service to the university as a team by presenting faculty and student concerts. All of us do creative work off campus to make ends meet. This has the added benefit of keeping our skills relevant to the marketplace and improves pedagogy. For all of this, I hope to earn greater job security and a pathway to full-time employment for all contingent faculty!"
Colton Weatherston, Adjunct Professor, Music

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