We return to campus this week. We return to campus in an environment and atmosphere that seems to be constantly changing. Before I get to the mundane and routine act of sending out a regular reminder of the upcoming mail ratification I want to share some things that union members have been sending me that are on their minds as we return to the spring semester.
Insurrection at the Nation’s Capitol
Some of you sent me emails about the attempted insurrection to overturn the November election at the Nation’s Capital during the certification of the electoral college votes affirming President Elect Joseph Biden’s election as our next President. Not only am I a historian but I am finishing my next book length manuscript on the right to vote in Florida which I plan to submit for publication this spring semester. The current title of this project is “Black Voters, White Lies: The Right to Vote in Florida.” We have witnessed the President, his advisors and lawmakers tell lies about voter fraud. They have pointed to places with concentrated urban centers (like Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix) as loci of voting “irregularities” and also home to large numbers of African Americans and other minority populations. This is a familiar tune that politicians and anti-democracy advocates have been singing for centuries now. The anti-democracy insurrections caused five deaths at the Capital, five deaths because of a lie. In a Charles Blow column published yesterday he pointed to a quote from Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation concerning the insurrection. That quote I would like to share, “the ideal of democracy is the greatest threat to the ideology of white supremacy; neither can long endure in the presence of the other. That is why today—and every day—we must renew our commitment to protect our democratic values and institutions from all enemies, foreign and domestic, especially those falsely disguised as patriots.”
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Publicize New Study
Some members of our union pointed out to me the following study published on January 8, 2021 on the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Researcher involved in this study conducted between July 6- September 17, 2020 concluded that, “U.S. counties with large colleges or universities with remote instruction (n = 22) experienced a 17.9% decrease in incidence and university counties with in-person instruction (n = 79) experienced a 56% increase in incidence, comparing the 21-day periods before and after classes started.” I know that the new return to campus policies and increase in in-person instructions have been on your mind. The union is in dialog with UCF still concerning these policies and we will continue these conversations. We hope the administration has also seen this study, if not we will be sure to bring it to their attention.
You should have received your ballots in the mail by now or soon will. To save money we printed the instructions on the front side of the ballot. Some of you may want to have the instructions separate so we posted the link to the instructions to the ballot on the UFF-UCF webpage here.
Information on the Article?
All information about Article 23 and its various versions are available on the UFF-UCF Bargaining page. Please take special note of the version with track changes if you want to see what was added and removed from previous versions. The final version is also located on that page.
Article 23 Ratification Town Hall Today at 7pm on Zoom
We will host an Article 23 Ratification Town Hall meeting on Zoom on Monday January 11 at 7pm. This is not related to the Full Book Town Hall meeting this week. The Ratification Town Hall meeting will only address any wording related to the article that needs to be cleared up so you can make an informed decision when you vote. We are prohibited from speaking or hosting a discussion of how you should vote, this is only to clear up language. For a link to this Town Hall please email me and I will send you the Zoom information. If you cannot attend or have questions related or unrelated to language please email me Robert Cassanello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Official announcement for mail ratification December 28th (Periodic reminders to follow)
Ballots mailed out January 6th
Town Hall on January 11 at 7pm-registration information TBA
Ballots due by January 27th-5pm
Ballot Counting Meeting January 27 at Holiday Inn, 6-8:30 pm
Notify UCF of results January 28 at 9am
The original announcement about the mail ratification is at this link here.