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November 2014

 

Labor is in this house
Kevin Peterman

 

lindsay life science building
The William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building is named for a Suffolk County legislator who was an ardent unionist and an ardent supporter of the college.

We are cranking.

As many of you know, on October 21 the college had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new science building at the Ammerman campus, naming it after the late Suffolk County legislator Bill Lindsay.

It was truly an honor to be at the ceremony for the William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building; it was a real tribute to Bill, who was a great labor leader and one of the best presiding officers I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.

Elected officials from the nation, state, and county; chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees (BOT) Carl H. McCall; SCCC trustees, faculty, and students; and labor leaders who attended all spoke of a man who passionately supported SCCC. Bill was a champion of the labor movement and a true advocate for SCCC. As I sat at the ceremony, I kept thinking about the phrase labor leaders use when they get together: “labor is in the house.” But on that day under the leadership of Dr. McKay, working with SCCC’s BOT, SUNY, our elected officials and the building trades, I thought “labor built this house”—the house now known as the William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building.

Bill’s advocacy and leadership will continue to be felt at SCCC for years to come. He was also instrumental in advocating for a new learning resource center soon to be constructed at the Grant campus as well as a new health and wellness center at the Eastern campus whose process has just begun.

Although Bill is no longer with us, his spirit lives on. His daughter, an SCCC alum and currently an assistant superintendent at Hampton Bays School District, is SCCC’s newest trustee.

The FA’s political involvement is in full swing as we work to elect candidates who are pro-labor and pro-education. We are about to begin our campaign, which I discussed in the September WORD, to “Reclaim the Promise.” We are in the process of engaging our students in a joint effort to get Albany to fund its community colleges as required by the State’s Education Law, Section 6304. We are stronger when we work with our students to “Reclaim the Promise.”

This campaign will be discussed at NYSUT’s annual Community College Conference, which is in Saratoga from November 7-9, where we will share the campaign with other community college union leaders and ask them to engage their students as well. We want to make “Reclaim the Promise” a statewide campaign.

Also planned for November 7, preceding the CC Conference, is a luncheon hosted by NYSUT which will bring together SUNY officials, SUNY community college presidents and community college union presidents to discuss state funding for SUNY community colleges. We will focus on how NYSUT and SUNY can work together to effectively advocate for SUNY community colleges. I also believe that other issues, including SUNY Seamless, will be discussed.

The FA will be involved again this year with our three campus food drives for the Thanksgiving season. We will be donating to food pantries on each campus to benefit SCCC students in need.

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving holiday and we hope to see you at the FA/Guild holiday party and retirement celebration on December 5.