On November 14, 2016, President David M Hughes and Vice-President Deepa Kumar sent out a message to full union members:
For those faculty in New Brunswick, please take yourself and your class to the Rally for a Sanctuary Campus, Wednesday, Nov 16, 3pm on the Voorhees Mall, New Brunswick. Also for New Brunswick faculty, there'll be a faculty strategy meeting, Friday, Nov 18, 1 pm, 11 Stone Street, New Brunswick, including Google Hangout for faculty who cannot attend in person. Contact the union to be called to join in via Hangout!
For those faculty in Newark, please attend the rally at Paul Robeson Campus Center at 3 pm on Wed, November 16.
November 16 is a national day of action. Hundreds of rallies and/or walkouts are happening at universities across the USA.
As you may have seen in the media, a national movement against Donald Trump has gathered steam since Election Day. Meanwhile, swastikas and other racist symbols have appeared on various college campuses. In hundreds of incidents nationwide, harassers have intimidated people of color, as detailed in this Time magazine piece. Last Friday, our union hosted a massive meeting of students and faculty activists, culminating in the statement we issued that evening.
Now, we would like to make a specific demand: that Rutgers University consider itself to be a Sanctuary Campus. On a sanctuary campus, the administration, faculty, and staff establish services and a climate of welcome for students of color, Muslims, LGBTQ students, and women – in short, for all the groups threatened by Trump and his supporters. Campus police and managers of data also should refuse to cooperate with federal agents wishing to deport undocumented students. (Newark and Camden have previously declared themselves "sanctuary cities," such that their police, hospitals, and municipal agencies refuse to report undocumented suspects, patients, and clients.)
If you work at or can travel to New Brunswick, please attend the rally Wednesday. Nov 16, 3pm at Voorhees Mall (College Ave campus). If you are teaching a class during that time, we encourage you to move your class to the Voorhees Mall – justified, if necessary, as a learning experience. (Canceling the class is also an option, of course, for those of you who feel secure enough to do so.) In the interim, please email this information and this Facebook link to your students.
The Union does not often encourage interruptions of regular instruction; so let us describe what is at stake here. Trump has appointed Stephen Bannon, a white supremacist, misogynist, racist anti-Semite to be his chief strategist. Having won the Electoral College, Donald Trump, his more mainstream supporters, and his supporters who are white supremacists and male chauvinists have gained a license for discrimination and hate. The movement against Trump seeks to withdraw that license, to deny the Trumpists a mandate or popular consent.
Because universities are prominent institutions – Rutgers more prominent than most - students and faculty can play a pivotal role in this resistance. If we are successful, we will blunt the damage done last Tuesday before Trump even takes office.
Finally, we will hold a strategy meeting for any interested members on Friday, Nov. 18, at 1pm at the Union office (11 Stone Street, off College Ave). Please respond to this email if you will attend so that we can order lunch. If you cannot show up in person – very likely for Camden and Newark – we can arrange means for you to participate remotely through Google hangout.
So – tragically, enragingly - this is where we are. We cannot turn back the clock, but we cannot give up either. Democracy – in its broadest sense – is more alive than dead. Six days of protest have re-animated political expression and alliances across every line of social difference. See you Wednesday!
David M. Hughes
Professor, Anthropology (SAS-New Brunswick)
President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Associate Professor, Journalism & Media Studies (SC&I-New Brunswick)
Vice-President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT