Monday, October 24, 2005

Staff employees have a voice

Smith and Carlos Statue

With the emergence of enabling technologies, like blogging and podcasting. Everybody, including all university faculty, students and staff have access to powerful global communications tools to post ideas to the Internet. This seed change has marked the end of business as usual. Using search engines like Google and even more, Technorati these Internet posts can be found, linked to and remixed in ways unimaginable just a short time ago. It does not require the blessing of the institution to make these posts accessible.

The result is a good thing. This is a conversation where ideas are free and easy to give, get and rehash. Everybody must be able to join the conversation. Historically students and faculty have been parties to the conversation to a greater and lesser extent, depending on the institution and the circumstances. Support staff, the so-called classified employees, have not been invited to the party. The staff in the past has been like the servers at a social event. We pour the punch but we are not allowed to dance.

Those days are over. Staff have important contributions to make to the conversation. We see things other folks don't see. We have ideas that deserve to be heard. We have paid our dues, and at public universities like SJSU we pay our taxes. It is everybody's loss to expect us to check our brains at the campus gate as we walk onto our universities. Not only are we members of the campus community, we are taxpayers and we don't want to see our investments squandered.

Administrators can't stop it, and shouldn't want to. We are here and we are ready to dance! The universities will be better for it.


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