William Paterson staff, students star in videos to help prevent layoffs, save programs

As negotiations continue between William Paterson University administration and AFT Local 1796 over possible cutbacks, WPU’s workers and students are supporting the at-risk personnel and programs with video messages explaining why such reductions would result in long-term, widespread consequences.

The initial videos in the series, produced by the Council of New Jersey State College Locals and the AFTNJ, premiered April 1 and feature WPU assistant professor Dr. Sean Wilson and graduate student Valerie Gonzalez.

“Cutting programs and jobs at WPU is a social justice issue because doing so would directly impact the quality of education that first-generation and BIPOC students receive while here at WPU,” said Dr. Wilson, who teaches criminology and criminal justice, in his video. “If we as an institution are truly committed to serving minoritized students, then we must reconsider cutting jobs and programs.”

“If I had the chance to write the ending to the story of these William Paterson negotiations, it would go like this,” said Gonzalez, who is about to complete WPU’s MFA program for creative and professional writing, in her video. “The faculty and administration do everything within their power to retain this program, and in the years to come, not only is this program not cut, it is expanded to accommodate the exponentially booming need for technical writers and professional communicators everywhere.”