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Lecturers and Librarians Welcome New Students at UCB and UCM



IMG_0346.jpgWe gathered Saturday morning at UC Berkeley to reach out to new students and their parents. It was a great experience. People were very welcoming, very happy to talk to us, interested to know about our contract and working conditions. Obviously, not for long extended discussions. And, of course, we didn’t interrupt people actually doing hard-core moving (except for several times to offer to help), but the whole move-in process involves massive amounts of standing around, wandering about, and checking things out.  People did not seem harried or annoyed with us in any way.

Twice representatives from Student Services tried to get us to leave. In the first case a manager told one table we couldn’t be there, we informed him that the Constitution (and our contract) said we could. We encouraged him to get the police. They came (a nice Sgt. Tucker of UC Police) and he agreed our table was not blocking anyone as the manager had claimed. Sgt. Tucker was particularly concerned about wheel-chair accessibility. A letter will be written to UC admin complementing Sgt. Tucker and wondering why Student Services thinks we are the enemy. At the other table, a Student Services worker (not a manager) told us to leave and said soliciting was not allowed. We pointed out that we were not soliciting, that we were greeting new members of OUR community, and that the police had checked out the other table and it was fine. She said, “Ok.”  

It was apparent that the news of our presence went to the top levels of UC Police and UCB Student Services very quickly and we assume higher.  This is good. While our main goal is to reach out to these new community members and activate our membership to start organizing, letting the UC administration know that we are doing this is an important goal as well. 


A few observations:

  • Have literature specifically for the new students. UCB used this piece.  It would also be good to have something to give to older students who are FullSizeRender.jpgoften mixed up with the first years. We used this flyer to help talk about contract negotiations, and we had a great bookmark (all campuses have these) we gave to almost everyone we talked to.
  • Find out where people check-in and where you can get moving carts and such because many people will ask and will be grateful you know.
  • Be there BEFORE move-in is scheduled. We got there right as check-ins started, which was good. But before that many very bored, new students were standing in lines...Perfect for longer chats which couldn’t happen so much once they were actually moving in.
  • Everyone loves to be congratulated on getting in. It was a pleasure watching their faces light up. It was very sweet meeting these young people and their parents. I’m glad one of their first memories of UC will be meeting a union lecturer who sincerely wants them to do well.
  • Having lemonade seemed unnecessary at first, as UCB student services had coffee, juice and donuts out, and it was cloudy. But as the day wore on and the donuts and UCB drinks were long gone, and the sun came out, the lemonade became more and more popular. You should find out what your student services has planned and try and complement it, not compete.
  • UCB AFT had two tables we used as bases (and lemonade/lit stands) from which we went out to leaflet from.
  • It is a festive time, so adding to it seems appropriate and effective. Puppets, live, music (some nice classical guitar?), flags, balloons… all would draw people in and add to the happy occasion.