For those of you who follow this blog, you know that, at least in California, myself and John Hoskins, along with many others in San Diego, were heavily involved with events regarding National Adjunct Action Day (I also referred to it as the “whatever”) last year. We put a lot of effort not only in the planning of events (there were six separate rallies in San Diego County alone).
Planning these events was not simply about having a few meetings, pulling out a card table, getting a microphone and making a poster. It involved 1) looking at specific actionable items, 2) securing facilities and equipment (which will take several weeks of advance planning, 3) arranging for higher profile speakers, 4) Coordinating with students and outside labor/social justice groups, 5) putting together literature, 6) Publicizing the event, 7) Organizing adjuncts and students to work tables, 8) Presenting before college governing boards, and trust me, I could go on.
We started planning for this year’s events on 2/26/2015, which is approximately one day after National Adjunct Action Day, which was 2/25/2015.
In keeping with the idea that this was a “day of action,” I stated on this blog that we were looking for marking National Adjunct Day on Wednesday, Feb. 24th, 2015 which would be the fourth Wednesday in February, effectively commemorating National Adjunct Day. We of course imagined that there would be various activities leading up to the day, but weren’t looking at designating this as a week.
The reason for this is that both the CTA and CFT, the two major unions in California, already have “Campus Equity Week” which runs during the last week in October. In fairness, while this used to be a biannual event, it is now in fact an annual event, and works well for us in terms of pressuring the state legislature, which controls our funding, and in addition, help us “rally the troops” for Election Day the following week.
After running a week of these events, as we did in San Diego, we can’t really run another full week of events because we end up appearing redundant and burning out some activists.
The idea of a “day of action” is to concentrate our efforts into a series of mass actions which will have the most impact, and perhaps draw media attention.
In the San Diego and Southwestern Community College Districts, the first day of instruction for the Spring Term is February 1st. To effectively arrange facilities and organize our actions requires at least three weeks, and while some prior planning can be done, it’s extremely hard to organize during the break except at the basic planning stage because so many people “check out” during break.
Recently, a group I assume that is affiliated with Brandeis University put out on social media that a National Adjunct Week of Action would be taking place from Feb. 15th-20th. It would have been nice if they had actually talked with people like myself, who actually organize this stuff, because I would have them that we had prior plans, and that the timeline doesn’t work for us. In addition, to what I stated before, Feb 12th -15th is actually a four-day holiday weekend in our districts, which is another problem in itself.
By the way, I spent a bit of time on the net looking for discussions of a National Adjunct Action Day for 2016 in November right after Campus Equity Week. I saw nothing, so we assumed that we had to act, and we have.
To the people planning events on the 15th-20th, I’m glad you’re doing something and I sincerely wish you well, but I’m telling my good adjuncts in the San Diego area we’re looking at Wednesday Feb. 24th.
If we truly want to take the National Adjunct “Whatever” a unifying and effective event, then after this year’s activities, let’s have all the main groups coordinate and lest come up with a time window that works for everybody. I am happy to be reached through the blog, or via my email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, I will say this, if you feel the need to speak to, and act out on adjunct issues, don’t let it being a specific day stop you—get out there and do something whenever. The adjunct nation needs you!
A “Good” Adjunct
NAWD was always DIY so when should be flexible too, especially since some ran it all week, but, just out of curiosity, why the 24th instead of the 25th?
To tie it to a single date would mean inevitably marking the day on a Saturday or Sunday. Keeping the event on a Wednesday, or in the middle of the week is going to give both greater on-campus and media exposure. Even Fridays on most community college campuses are dead. My issue is less with someone choosing on day or another, it’s more that if there is a nationwide action, it would be better to do it either on a specific day or in close proximity to a specific day. I would hate to see us go the way of the “occupy movement”.
If you’re not aspiring to some kind of national unity in terms of action, it may be better not to call it a “national” event, in which case, I too would have to acknowledge I shouldn’t use the word as well, which is in part why I followed up with the words “for us” in the title.
Just the same, thanks for your feedback.
Geoff, I recall a few in CA complaining about last year about Thursday not being as convenient as Wednesday. I noticed and appreciate the parenthetical clarification, and was waiting for National Adjunct to post a FB thread before reblogging.
Let’s call it conversation rather than feedback. I’m into curating and sharing not organizing anything but the information. You wrote about a group planning a week of action. I had the same thought as you: it would have been nice if they had actually talked to us. But none of us own the event, not me, not you, not CA adjuncts collectively, not COCAL, not the hgher ed unions and organization ~ not even @NationalAdjunct (unless understood as an eponymous figure representing all adjuncts)
That said, we should at least share a common hashtag. That will connect us nationally even better than a common date that can’t suit everyone. Hashtag is where the wisdom of the crowd ~ bottom up not top down ~ rules. What gets searched, clicked, shared and followed is what will take. fyi Joe Berry’s latest COCAL Updates has links to the NAWD public archive — hrml clip and reader bundle — that I created for last year
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