Dear Union Members,
Dean of the Graduate Division Andrew Szeri recently announced that the Stephens Hall Graduate Student Lounge would be discontinued for use by graduate students as a study and workspace, effective May 16, 2014. The Stephens Lounge is a unique and important site of graduate scholarship. But the closure decision was based on unsubstantiated claims about its “underutilization” and about the ready availability of comparable study and work spaces. Moreover, the decision was made without any consultation with the graduate student body, and the Dean continues to assert that the decision is “final and beyond appeal.” The plan to close the Stephens Lounge therefore represents a serious disregard for graduate student working conditions and their right to shape those conditions.
At our monthly membership meeting on Thursday, the Berkeley Unit voted unanimously to demand a reversal of the closure decision. We are asking for your support in the following ways.
Please sign the petition to save the Stephens Hall Graduate Student Lounge by clicking the following link: http://goo.gl/Gx87sS. The petition will be even stronger if you include personal reflection on how this space is important and why it should be saved. And of course, please tell others about the proposed closure and ask them to sign the petition!
Our efforts will be even more effective if in addition to signing the petition, you personally contact EVCP Steele (firstname.lastname@example.org; 510-642-1961) and Dean Szeri (email@example.com; 510-642-5472) immediately to voice directly your opposition to the closure of the Lounge.
Finally, please direct comments, questions, or interest in organizing to David Marcus (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Alex Roehrkasse