SGA passes resolution in support of faculty union and appoints two new members


Yongze Wang

Joint Session appointed two new members Tuesday for the positions of Class of 2021 President and Transfer Student Commissioner.

By Charlie McKenna

Members of the Student Government Association voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution in support of the Emerson College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors after the union advised its members to discontinue directed study courses beginning next semester.

The recommendation by ECCAUP comes in the wake of a decision by the college to stop paying professors for their role in directed study courses—courses in which a professor meets with a student one-on-one to study subject matter not covered by the college’s curriculum. The college previously paid professors $400 for their role in directed studies, according to the union.

The resolution, written by Writing, Literature and Publishing Senator Alison Michalak, will be distributed to members of the college’s administration. Exact details remain unclear but Executive Vice President Melissa Bordelon said during the meeting SGA would most likely give the resolution to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Michaele Whelan.

In an interview after the meeting, Executive President Will Palauskas said the resolution, which serves only as a show of support for the union, was passed to provide a student voice in support of the faculty union.

“Now it’s not just going to be coming from the full-time faculty union, it’s not just going to be coming from one student, it’s going to be a resolution that was authored by one student and then sponsored by maybe 20 others,” he said. “And those 20 students represent a good portion of the 3,800 undergraduates here at Emerson. It’s like saying the vast majority of undergraduates at the college believe that what’s happening is not ok and it’s important that we start to create some really big change.”

Joint Session also appointed two new members Tuesday—Class of 2021 President Naomi Jones and Transfer Student Commissioner Annie Kew. Jones’ appointment officially fills SGA’s president’s council.

Jones said in an interview after the meeting that she was interested in the position because it gives her an opportunity to represent more voices on campus.

“I have a bunch of different connections with people that are looking to be involved in student life and how to benefit student life and how to grow it,” she said.

Kew said during the meeting that while she had an easy time getting involved at Emerson, she recognizes that the experience can be challenging for other transfer students.

“Immediately coming here I got very involved in a lot of different organizations on campus so I felt as if I was able to kind of find my place in this school,” she said. “But I know for other people that could be a little more difficult.”