The following is a letter from Jason Prentice, Senior Lecturer in the CAS Writing Program at BU, announcing plans for a public protest that I am happy to say I will attend. I encourage everyone reading this to also attend. Make sure to sign up for more information, following the link in bold below.
I hope that you and yours are doing well. I write to ask you to join me — and many of our fellow BU community members, as well as concerned citizens from outside BU — in a public protest against our administration’s reopening plan.
You may have signed the Star-Powell petition demanding that faculty be permitted to choose to teach in-person, online, or in whatever manner best suits their personal health considerations, their subject matter, and the needs of their students. This protest makes essentially the same demand, along with two others. Here is the core message:
Campus Health is Community Health
1) BU must de-densify campus by allowing everyone who can to work remotely.
2) BU must provide PPE to everyone who needs to be on campus.
3) BU must share its COVID testing capabilities with the community.
For months, the administration has failed to answer key questions and concerns raised in Faculty Council, town-hall meetings, and joint labor-management sessions, intent on moving ahead with a plan conceived months ago, behind closed doors, seemingly without regard for voices of key stakeholders or changing circumstances. Yet in recent weeks, more and more institutions of higher education have reversed or drastically cut back plans similar to BU’s, including peer institutions such as USC, University of Miami (Ohio), and Emory, as well as near peers, such as Johns Hopkins. With these reversals, along with the worsening condition of the pandemic nationally and increasing concerns expressed by local government officials, we — a coalition of BU faculty and staff unions, BU graduate student organizations, and citizens from across the region — believe it is necessary and timely to apply renewed pressure on President Brown.
Therefore, we’ve organized a public protest for Thursday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m., in the form of a simultaneous car caravan, bike rally, and socially distanced march on foot, as well as via social media, in order to accommodate whichever form of protest participants are comfortable with.
I hope you will consider joining us. We’re running out of time and may not get another chance to prevent things from getting out of control.
You can sign up here: https://forms.gle/dsLHBvbJzyrjeZE1A
In coming days, participants who register will receive additional information. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.