Delegates begin their day of speakers, reports, and discussion at APSCUF’s legislative assembly, held Sept. 13–14 at Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey. Photos/Kathryn Morton
At APSCUF’s 198th legislative assembly, held in Harrisburg Sept. 13–14, delegates and officers welcomed guest speakers, honored members, passed resolutions, heard committee reports, and voted on nominations-and-elections committee members.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Chancellor Daniel Greenstein, speaking at the podium above, discussed the power of public higher education and answered questions from the group. Among other topics, he discussed the System redesign, which he said is about reimagining public higher education together.
State Rep. Leanne Krueger, left, spoke to APSCUF members about the challenges and changes in Harrisburg. The professors she had in college helped shape her, she said.
State Sen. Lindsey Williams, above right, spoke about her union background and her work for labor and higher education. She addressed the problem of student debt and her support of the Pennsylvania Promise.
At its Friday-evening reception, APSCUF honored Bloomsburg University Chapter President Dr. Stephen Kokoska, left, with its Distinguished Service Award. With him are Dr. Julie Kontos, who introduced the award, and APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash.
East Stroudsburg University Chapter President Dr. Nancy VanArsdale, center, also received a Distinguished Service Award. With her are Dr. Allan Benn, left, who introduced the award, and Mash.
Delegates elected Kontos, Judy Silva of Slippery Rock University, and Dr. Cassandra Reyes of West Chester University to the nominations-and-elections committee.
APSCUF debuted new commercials to use in future public-relations campaigns. Thank you to all who participated in the recording sessions this summer.
We have an agreement in principle for the faculty contract. Click here to read today’s release. APSCUF faculty members should check their campus emails for additional information sent this morning.
Negotiators from APSCUF and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education engage in interest-based bargaining Monday, Aug. 19, at the APSCUF office in Harrisburg. Photo/Kathryn Morton
Faculty-contract negotiators were back at the table for a two-day interest-based bargaining session with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, held at the APSCUF office in Harrisburg. Additional dates are scheduled for September. Click here to read today’s joint press release.
From busy state budget meetings at the Capitol to trips across the state, my summer was filled with new experiences as an APSCUF intern.
The varying degree of work I was able to complete while at APSCUF provided me with an insider view of state politics and union work. This internship was ideal for me because of the dual role I was able to play at the union, both with the communications director and government-relations director.
While working alongside the communications director, Kathryn Morton, I learned the intricacies of public relations and the diverse range of responsibilities within the communications field. The tasks I completed for her varied from social-media content creation to website maintenance to writing blog posts about members. It became clear to me that Kathryn wore many hats, and I was happy to glimpse into the varying roles she had to juggle.
Most notably, I was able to interview two faculty members about their work and ties to APSCUF. Shifting from my familiar writing style for research papers to a journalistic style was challenging at first, but the advice and guidance I received from Kathryn was helpful beyond measure. I was also able to travel to several universities while APSCUF filmed a new commercial. Meeting with faculty members from across the state was always enjoyable, as I listened to them passionately talk about their universities and union.
While working with Sean Crampsie, the government-relations director, I was able to tour the Capitol and learn about the varied nuances of state politics. Though it seemed to me that Sean knew every single person in the building, he assured me that was not the case and it took him practice and dedication to improve upon his relationships with legislators and lobbyists. As we skirted from one meeting to the next, we would occasionally stop to watch a rally on the Rotunda steps (as they happen almost continuously while in session). During the slower periods of the day, we would also walk around, and Sean would introduce me to a myriad of other lobbyists and staffers he had added to his Rolodex over the years. If you are not in tune with state politics prior to this internship, you will be afterward — and enjoyably so.
Once budget season was over, work began promptly to plan for the upcoming fall. One of the major projects involved the newly created House student-debt caucus. I helped cycle through thousands of consumer-loan complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Pennsylvania. The project aimed to enhance and elevate the discussion around student-loan debt in Pennsylvania by providing personal narratives from actual people. While the project was time-consuming, I felt the work to be important and enlightening, as someone about to graduate with debt. I hope the work I did over the summer will aid APSCUF and the student-debt caucus in their efforts moving forward.
It was especially impactful to work for a union dedicated to public higher education and the students of Pennsylvania. I was able to see firsthand the level of dedication the APSCUF president and state staff put toward their members and students. I would like to personally thank Kathryn and Sean for their advice and encouragement throughout the summer as well as Dr. Mash and the staff for welcoming me.
I highly encourage other students across the State System to apply for an APSCUF internship, as it affords you the opportunity to work for a union that is truly working for your benefit as a student.
—Abbey Ford, APSCUF intern
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education have released a joint statement about this todays contract negotiations. Click here to read the release.