UUP-New Paltz Chapter Election 2021 Candidates/Statements

It’s time for our UUP Chapter Elections again!

Ballots will be going out in the mail to all UUP members by March 12. You will have until April 26 to return them to UUP headquarters — please be sure to follow the directions to ensure that your vote will count! Following is a list of those who have put their names forward as candidates for the various chapter officer positions, and/or as delegates.

Please note that there are a several positions which will appear blank on your printed ballot, and for which individuals have put themselves forward as write-in candidates, who are marked as such on the list.

President and Delegate:

  • Beth E. Wilson (A)

It has been my privilege to lead our Chapter for the past three terms, since I was first elected President in 2015. It has been a pleasure, consulting in this work with our talented, insightful chapter officers and delegates as we worked together to address the needs of all our members I hope to continue this work, gaining ground as we attend to the many perspectives—academic and professional, tenured and contingent, full-time and part-time—that make up our bargaining unit. I ask for your vote, so that we can maintain this ongoing conversation and continue our important collective work.

Vice President for Academics and Delegate:

  • César Barros (A) [Write-in candidate] 

Since 2012, I have been a full-time faculty at SUNY New Paltz. I am an immigrant. I teach Spanish and the cultures and politics of Latin America, the Caribbean, and their diasporas in the United States. Outside of my job here, I work with undocumented immigrant communities in their struggle for the right to live in peace, facilitating popular education workshops, and organizing and participating in legal clinics, accompaniment efforts, and mutual aid initiatives. I believe public higher education is a right and that it should be available to all. I am running to be your delegate and Vice President for Academics. I see our union as the opportunity to come together as workers, no matter our job description, in order to demand the working conditions we deserve. I don’t believe in top-down unionism, but in rank and file collective thinking and action. I am a member of UUP Member Action Coalition. UUP is the largest higher education union in the country and only we, together, can make it work as the powerful organized labor force it can be. As VPA, I want to facilitate spaces to build this power and work with all of you to make sure you see the union is your union. We all, professionals and academics of every rank and title, need to work together. With Rendesia Scott, candidate for Vice President for Professionals, we are running as a team. Together—with our union, with you—we will fight not only to resist the austerity that is increasing our workloads, increasing labor precarization, and deepening longstanding racial and gender inequities, but also to demand the working conditions we deserve as we labor for the betterment of our community. 

Vice President for Professionals and Delegate:

  • Rendesia Scott  (P) [Write-in candidate]   

I work as the Director of the Center of Business Advising within the School of Business and I have been with New Paltz for slightly over 22 years.  I attended Graduate School at New Paltz while working with the High School Equivalency Program (residential campus GED program).  Once I earned my M.S. in Education Administration, I moved onto Vassar College to work there as a Resident Director for some time.  I eventually made my way back to SUNY New Paltz as an Educational Opportunity Program Advisor.

I was hired within the School of Business to be their Senior Academic Advisor in 2005.  While there, my hard work and integrity spoke for itself to my supervisor at the time, Dr. Hadi Salavitabar, as he eventually implemented a Center for Business Advising within the School of Business, thus promoting me from Senior Advisor to the Director of this Center. 

I have served on numerous campus committees and as the Faculty Advisor to several student organizations.  I presently serve as a Task Member on the Scholar’s Mentorship Program (SMP).  I was instrumental in the implementation of the Harry K. Bonsu Scholarship (originally under SMP) and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc Scholarship. 

I advocated to create the first student of color student organization within the School of Business, B.A.S.C. – the Business Association for Students of Color.   I presently serve as their Faculty Advisor.

I consider myself to be professional, detail oriented, organized, and yet still human!  I am task Driven when needed, but true motivation is to see the result of great implementations whether I am in the forefront OR the background.

My goal is to remain honest and act with integrity.  My primary concern is ethical behavior and doing my best to ensure the playing field is fair to those who have not received the same benefits of others.

I am a Mother of two beautiful children and the Wife to an awesome husband…who is also a SUNY New Paltz alum!  I am active in my church, community, and sorority.  

I have been a member of United University Professions (UUP) since I was hired here.  I volunteered to be a dept rep for Professionals once in the School of Business and was recently elected one of New Paltz’ chapter Professional Delegates.

Both Cesar Barros Arteaga (VP of Academics candidate) and I took on the challenge to this new role within the union at the call of our colleague, Brian Obach.  We are all excited to work with the existing team of E-Board Members with the mentorship of the previous members in this role.

I am hopeful you will consider my candidacy for this position.   

Secretary:

  • Gowri Parameswaran  (A) 

Treasurer:

  • Koop, Douglas  (A)

 I am a candidate for both Treasurer and Academic Delegate.  As an 18+ year adjunct in the Physics, Mathematics and Engineering departments, I am gratefully eligible for the lifetime SUNY health benefits that were negotiated by the UUP, for which I like to thank you by serving in these positions for a third term.  I ask for your vote.

Grievance Officer:

  • Amanda Merritt (P) [Write-in candidate]  

I appreciate the chance to continue to represent our members as Grievance Officer for a second term, and I hope I have your write-in vote. 

Much of a Grievance Officer’s job is to help resolve situations in which our members are trying to cope with questionable treatment on the job. (If this is a current concern of yours, please be in touch with any chapter officer asap.) Sometimes the behavior the member is dealing with isn’t actually grievable or illegal, but that doesn’t diminish the resulting unhappiness and stress. Informal mediation and strategizing can help, and I am honored to have been trusted to support our members as they negotiate their personal minefields. 

In the background, I continue to work with our excellent Labor Relations Specialist to get our contingent colleagues the health insurance coverage promised in our collective bargaining agreement. This is no time to be without health insurance, and we will challenge our campus administration and SUNY until our colleagues get the benefits they’re entitled to. 

As we are all painfully aware, the stress level of our jobs jumped dramatically in March 2020. I hope to be able to continue to support our colleagues as we all plod through our current mess and get to happier times. I thank you for your write-in vote. 

Membership Development Officer:

  • Edward T. Felton  (P)

I look forward to continuing as MDO. Member participation is the key to our union’s strength. I’ll work with colleagues to further activate our Executive Committee, develop our Department Representative network, and provide opportunities for all members to contribute to our collective voice.

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