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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Repping

Being a union rep is very rewarding. People come up and thank me for what I do, and that’s fun. 

As a rep, I vastly prefer the people who say, “I’m ideologically opposed to the union and will never join” to the wishy-washy folks who start with, “I might support the union but I need to hear what both sides have to say, and I need an assurance there will never be a strike and that there will never be any repercussions. Give me a couple more months to think about it and then I might sign your very urgent petition.”

The first group almost always end up signing petitions and showing up for meetings because they have a position and that opens them up to reasonable, logical arguments.

The wishy-washy folks say they support you but it’s impossible to get anything real out of them. They are as terrified of unspecified evil forces as survivors of Stalinist terror. 

“Yes, but what if somebody finds out?” they ask when you invite them to a union meeting.

“It’s not a secret meeting,” you explain. “We have been recognized by the University. We have the majority of faculty.”

“I’m not comfortable doing it in the open,” the wishy-washy person says. “If the meeting were held off-campus. . .” 

As I said before, I have no idea what people are so afraid of.

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