Union blocked out of admin office


Alek Fleury

First-year Jordyn King delivers a speech at the March 26 United Academics rally on the Waterman Green, which was attended by 40 faculty and students. The rally was to support the UA’s petition which demands for the reinstatement of two lecturers and support for students who received conduct hearing notices following participation in a Feb. 26 rally hosted by NoNames for Justice.

Emma Pinezich and Lee Hughes

The faculty union and student activists were locked out of the executive offices when they tried to deliver a petition.

United Academics, the faculty union, hosted a 2:30 p.m. March 26 rally on the Waterman Green. It was attended by 40 faculty and students, including members from the Coalition for Student and Faculty Rights, NoNames for Justice and the Queer Student Union.

The rally was to support the UA’s petition, which includes demands for the reinstatement of two lecturers whose contracts were recently not renewed, and support for the students who received conduct hearing notices following participation in a Feb. 26 rally hosted by NoNames.

UA President Sarah Alexander, associate English professor, said she was surprised that the door was locked since people can normally walk right into the executive offices.

“It feels a little bit like they don’t care what we have to say enough to even allow someone in their office to accept our petition that had close to 1,000 signatures. We didn’t intend to disrupt anyone or make a ruckus,” Alexander said. “They clearly knew we were coming.”

Alexander gave the petition to Jim Vigoreaux, associate provost for faculty affairs, who was standing outside of the executive offices in Waterman.

Vigoreaux told her that he would give the petition to President Sullivan, Alexander said.

Communications Director Enrique Corredera stated in an email that the University ensured that the petition would be delivered to a senior leadership team member.

Vigoreaux will be sharing the petition with other senior leaders, he stated.

At the rally, students gathered on the green and listened to Alexander and theater professor John Forbes speak about their concerns regarding the administration’s cuts to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Forbes stressed that tenured faculty need to speak out in order to defend their colleagues and the future of CAS.

“We face the absurd situation where we are being presented with cuts in resources as a way to strengthen the college. This is idiotic,” Forbes said.

Students, including sophomore Jordyn King and senior Seth Wade, spoke about the letters from the administration.

The letters informed the students that they could potentially face disciplinary actions after events that took place Feb. 26 during a NoNames rally.

At the NoNames rally, nine students were given conduct violations by administrators after using a loudspeaker inside the Waterman building.

“We are all in this together,” Wade said. “The more we get out the word of what is happening on this University, the more of a chance we have to fight this and make a change.”

The speakers highlighted the three demands in the petition: that UVM administration reinstate laid off faculty, that they freeze course caps on introductory courses campus wide and that they commit to preserving UVM’s language, arts and humanities programs.

Sophomore Harmony Edosomwan, a leader in NoNames for Justice who was running for SGA president at the time of the rally, took the microphone to discuss how funding for CAS was at the center of her campaign platform.

“All I have to say is, just keep fighting the good fight for UVM,” Edosomwan said to students, after urging them to join UA and deliver the petition directly to Sullivan’s office.