On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, American Federation of Teachers Local 1904 at Montclair State University hosted a pizza party for students who live on campus and didn’t go home during the winter break. At the party, faculty, professional staff and librarians provided 30 pizzas and distributed 130 care packages to students in the multi-purpose room in The Machuga Heights.
“For a variety of reasons, some students remain on campus during the winter break. Sometimes it's too costly go to go home, and for others the University is the place they call home,” says Rich Wolfson, President of AFT Local 1904. Dr. Wolfson explained, “Our members wanted to do something for these students to show them our support and to continue our tradition of making campus a welcoming place.”
Union members paid for and put together the care packages for students: a plastic shoe box that contained things such as: small travel games, playing cards, gloves, $5 gift cards to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, cough drops, cocoa, ramen noodles or Cup-a-Soup, granola bars and other snacks, and AFT-branded items such as Post-it notes, and pencils. “It‘s our hope that these packages will bring a little cheer to the students during the intersession,” said Dr. Wolfson.
The students were grateful for the support from the Union, and asked if the Union would host another pizza party and care package event next winter break. Many were unaware that the faculty, professional staff, and librarians who work on campus are unionized employees. Students were also excited to learn about the $500 scholarships that AFT Local 1904 funds every year. Dr. Wolfson said, “AFT Local 1904 is committed to supporting our students in every way possible.”