Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles – Westchester shines
March 2, 2018
Our advocacy efforts intensify during this time of year between when the Governor announces his executive budget and when the Senate and Assembly pass their one-house budgets. The implications for the college are many, inclusive of base aid support that enables us to keep our tuition low and capital projects that enable us to build and maintain state-of-the-art learning spaces. This week alone, three major efforts took place to build support for Westchester Community College.
- On Wednesday, Professor Rosemarie Serrano and 14 students traveled to Albany for a day of meetings with their representatives in the Senate and Assembly. They informed our elected officials about why Westchester Community College is important to them. The trip also served a greater purpose: these students gained more experience and confidence advocating for themselves and issues important to them, becoming more active participants in our democratic system. We thank Prof. Serrano and our dedicated advocates who raced the sunrise to campus in order to be on the road to Albany by 7:30 a.m.
- These students made a strong positive impression, too. The following day, nine members of the Westchester Delegation attended a breakfast meeting at the Gateway Center. They praised our students and the impact of their stories. Legislators were very interested in meaningful discussion on a range of topics. It was clear that they care about Westchester Community College and want to make our case in Albany.
- When state budgets are involved, it is helpful to have a uniform message to legislators. We joined SUNY in its call for more predictable base aid as occurs at the state-sponsored colleges, away from FTE funding currently in place. It was particularly helpful to report that Faculty Senate passed a resolution in support of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges’ endorsement of SUNY’s proposal. We appreciate faculty advocacy efforts for our community colleges statewide.
Finally, on Monday the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on values releases a survey to the college community. Please join me in completing the survey and making your views known as our community comes together to complete this process later in the spring.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles