SUNY teachers’ union, students, lawmakers rally online for campus safety measures

Regional News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Students, community leaders, elected officials, and over 500 members of United University Professions are rallying for campus safety measures at noon on Wednesday.

The “Virtual Rally for a Safe SUNY Reopening” will urge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to mandate stricter on-campus coronavirus safety measures. It will be streamed on Zoom, and should last for an hour to an hour and a half.

“We must prioritize the health and safety of our students, our members, and our communities. We have watched the devastating impacts of the coronavirus on our state and nation,” reads UUP’s website. “The reopening plans being released by campuses do not go far enough to protect our communities and abandon the consistent messaging of Governor Cuomo and Dr. Zucker that we have heard for five months.”

UUP, a union representing thousands of academic professionals at SUNY campuses, wants classes to resume in the fall, but they think safety procedures should be in place beforehand. They say that SUNY’s approved campus reopening plans are insufficient. According to UUP, a safe reopening must include baseline and surveillance testing on campus, contact tracing, face masks, telecommuting, and social distancing.

The rally is demanding that resources be found to support reopening safely. Speakers will include:

  • UUP President Frederick E. Kowal
  • Legislators from Albany, Buffalo and Long Island.
  • SUNY students from SUNY Fredonia and UAlbany
  • UUP members
  • Community members from SUNY campus host communities

UUP will also be joined by representatives of the NYS Labor-Religion Coalition, Citizen Action, NY Renews and other community organizations.

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