Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

ECSU discusses concerns about college’s lack of support for non-Emerson-affiliated organizations and alumni

ECSU+discusses+concerns+about+college%E2%80%99s+lack+of+support+for+non-Emerson-affiliated+organizations+and+alumni

The Emerson College Students’ Union (ECSU) met on Wednesday to discuss issues with the college administration’s communication with the Emerson community and its lack of support for non-Emerson-affiliated organizations and alumni. 

Last summer, many Emerson alumni participated in the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. Tyler Ruggeri, an Emerson alumnus and one of the strike captains, joined the meeting via Zoom. During the gathering, he said a petition was distributed among Emerson alumni who are WGA members, which asked the college to send out a statement of solidarity with the alumni involved in the WGA strike. However, this was “stonewalled by the administration,” he said.

“We’re very displeased by the lack of support that we received from Emerson during our strike, even just the basic statement of solidarity,” Ruggeri said. “It feels like Emerson’s lack of support for their professional alums in the unions out here is just kind of despicable.”

Two weeks ago, Ruggeri participated in a Q&A session with President Jay Bernhardt in Los Angeles for alumni. Ruggeri highlighted that the primary topic Bernhardt stressed was “to increase Emerson’s outreach to alumni and professional communities [and] figure out how they can help support current students.”

“[Bernhardt] said a bunch of nice things, and it all sounded really good,” Ruggeri said. “But again, it felt very hollow.”

Dylan Young, the chair of national development of ECSU, said that Emerson’s administration does not communicate directly with ECSU and that it is like a “game of telephone” to get a response from college officials.

Young said ECSU’s ultimate goal is to have better alumni and faculty communication through a “town hall” type of meeting where alums like Ruggeri can meet with current ECSU members for support because Emerson does not provide them with any connections.

“Hosting events like a potential town hall that highlights the alumni connection could be a good first step in building up to having a more organized network,” he said.

The union also discussed its three-week plan for the rest of the fall semester and plans to continue its social media outreach. One example is by expressing their support for the RA union on its Instagram.

“The school is trying to push the date of the RA’s election to after they get rehired. We think this is unacceptable and want to find a way to support [it],” Young said in an email to the Beacon. “We will likely do an online campaign but cannot say anything officially until we get word from the RAs.”

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