to the new editor. What a great job, even in the short time. The
new paper has what union members need: information, news,
graphics, prodding to be active—plus some theory, an editorial,
as well as those “Dear Chancellor Goldstein...” letters.
Members, saying it best. My colleagues and I look forward to
developing a new direction for the PSC newspaper, I urge you to
take seriously the reality that CUNY, like other institutions, is
structured by gender. This is most evident in administration,
faculty, staff and student positions as well as curriculum. The
differences between women and men would not be an issue if they
were equal, but they are not.
implement my proposal I recommend two changes in every issue of
the newspaper. One is reporting on the concerns of women as women
among faculty, staff and students. Looking at CUNY through
women’s eyes alerts us to gendered aspects of the University;
this can lead us to needed changes.
itself, such a column would
give us a “women’s corner”—as though their issues are
theirs alone. But women live in the University with men; what’s
happening with women is affected by and affects men.
both women and men are gendered, a reality that cuts across other
social constructs, e.g., race/ethnicity, class and sexual
orientation. Therefore, I also recommend that when someone writes
about persons or issues, s/he should indicate awareness of the
impact of gender and the other social constructs on the subject at
may argue that these recommendations foster divisiveness. They do
not. If the PSC newspaper is to help build the kind of community
that I believe our new union leaders were elected to develop, we
must come to grips with the particularities and the commonalities
Brooklyn College, Graduate Center (Emerita)
me cast the first vote for keeping the name Clarion. Over the years, the Clarion won many awards for excellence as
a union newspaper. Since its launching, the Clarion has provided
the best medium of communication within CUNY. Changing the name is gratuitously insulting to all those who over the years
contributed to our union’s paper. This proposal also has an
“uprooting” feel to it. Not everything that happened before
the current leadership was elected was wrong.
And to date, we don’t really know what will be different
under the current leadership. Remember: “Pride goeth before the
the Clarion could be faulted is that (although to a much lesser
degree than other union newspapers) it served to promote
incumbency by endlessly documenting and gloating over the
activities of the elected leaders. Will the Clarion now have fewer
photos of the union’s officers than previously, will they be
quoted less often, less copiously? After perusing the last issue,
the answer is, No! Traditionally, the Clarion also gave little or
no publicity to opponents—announced or potential. We do not yet
know whether the editorial practices of the Clarion will differ in
these regards now that the recently elected insurgents have become
incumbents. One egregious omission in the Clarion, by the way, was
its failure to report on decisions of the Delegate Assembly. There
is no evidence so far that this will change.
the new Clarion (by whatever name) be any more focused on the
underlying issues and the needs of the membership and less devoted
to the leadership? This, and not a name, matters.
Hostos Community College
comes with great surprise to see a communication called News
Bulletin replacing Clarion.
one who negotiated on behalf of the United Federation of College
Teachers with the Legislative Conference, let me indicate how our
union got its name and how the publication got the name Clarion.
UFCT newspaper was called Action; the Legislative Conference organ
was the Legislative Conference News.
The LC in its history at CUNY denied at first that it was a
union, then when both organizations sought collective bargaining
there was a change and both organizations sought to merge instead
of wasting energy, money and materiel in battling each other.
LC representatives in merger talks wanted no mention of
“United,” “Federation” or “Union.” The word
“Congress” has an honorable place in labor history, as in the
name “Congress of Industrial Organization.” Clarion is a name
associated with the British trade unions and the Labour
Party—very honorable historic associations.
democratic process would suggest not a name-calling contest with
gustatory prizes, but a secret ballot membership
referendum—perhaps in two segments. The first—Should We Retain
Clarion? Yes or No. If the “Nos” win, then entertain possible
choices for a change.
as the Deputy President Emeritus of the PSC alongside Belle
Zeller, am proud of the PSC’s achievements: the end of secret
personnel files—Max/Kahn; the Certificate of Continuous
Employment open to full-time Lecturers who had faced interruptions
in seeking tenure; the end of the “Nota Benes” which precluded
the use of the grievance procedure in appointments,
reappointments, promotion, and tenure; the defeat of Kibbee’s
tenure quotas; the retention of John Jay College of Criminal
Justice in the face of its possible abolition; the many picket
lines and demonstrations not only on our behalf but in solidarity
with other unions; a union free of corruption.
request that this letter be printed in the next issue of the
Clarion, a name which must not be changed without the democratic
input of the rank and file membership.
Deputy President Emeritus, PSC
school seniors have received a letter that begins,
“Congratulations. It gives me great pleasure to inform you of
your acceptance to City College as a member of the class entering
in the Fall 2001 semester.” But many of these students are later
told that their acceptance is actually conditional. They must
still pass the three Freshman Skills Assessment Tests to enter the
a meeting on February 22, City College administrators discussed a
recruitment drive that includes faculty phone calls to students.
But with respect to these phone calls, too, the plan was to avoid
initially informing the conditionally admitted students of their
tried to find out who was responsible for this policy.
Administrators weren’t eager to talk to me about the specifics.
But several indicated that CUNY Central had advised City College
and some other colleges to handle the initial letters and phone
calls in this way.
any event, after I began to make the admissions practice public, I
learned that at least two colleges, City and York, will change
their letters to inform students of their true status from the
apparently has been doing what it can to sustain enrollment this
coming fall, when the new remediation ban threatens enrollment
losses at several colleges. But whatever the motive, CUNY has been
misleading students and playing on their emotions in a very
to the Editor: Write to Us! -- Letters to the
editor can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org, They can also be
sent by regular mail to: Letters to The Editor, PSC, 25 W. 43rd
Street, New York, NY 10036; or faxed to: 212-302-7815. Letters
should be no more than 150-200 words in length, and are subject to