On Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 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 20 pizzas and distributed 100 care packages to students in the multi-purpose room in The Machuga Heights. This year representatives from the Health Promotions Department were also on hand to give out goodies and information on how to live a healthy life to students.
“For a variety of reasons, some students remain on campus during the winter break. Sometimes it's too costly go to go home, some are student athletes who stay and continue to train and compete with their teams, and for others the University is the place they call home,” says Alexander Sperling, Chair of AFT Local 1904’s Community Outreach Committee. Mr. Sperling 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 the care packages for students: a plastic shoe box that contained things such as: playing cards, UNO cards, Sudoko books, cocoa, Cup-a-Soup, granola bars and other snacks, tissues, gum, and AFT-branded items such as Post-it notes, pencils, pens, and luggage tags. “It‘s our hope that these packages will brighten the time students spend on campus during the intersession,” said Rich Wolfson, President of AFT Local 1904.
The students were grateful for the support from the Union and 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.”