SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A couple hundred students came out to Case Green park at Skidmore College to hear what resident assistants had to say on their fight to unionize. Former and present RAs, Von Richardson and Anna Brooks, lead the rally to the praise of their peers. “I love my RAs, they’re awesome. They’re here for us, and I support them,” said Skidmore student Lucia Ramnarine.
Advocates say unionizing will lead to Skidmore’s conditions improving for the student body and student workers. “To have a healthy Skidmore Community we need RAs that are compensated for the grueling work that they do,” explained Skidmore student Adrian Antonioli. “This rally is really here to just celebrate all of us, and for us to come together in solidarity to realize we deserve better,” described Richardson.
Brooks explains the next steps the RAs will take when it comes to unionizing. “We are going to negotiate with the college on what date the election will be held on. Skidmore wants it to be in the fall. It will be in the spring and the union will make sure of that,” stated Brooks.
Even with the commotion on campus, Skidmore College has yet to communicate directly with the RAs on their efforts to unionize. They have responded to NEWS10 with a statement:
“Skidmore College honors the rights of all of our students to speak out and the rights of our Resident Assistants and Community Assistants to explore unionization. Our Residential Assistants (RAs) and Community Assistants (CAs) are among the most active leaders on our campus. Our entire community values and respects the integral role they in supporting their fellow students’ success and in helping our community be more connected, inclusive, and supportive. During this academic year, the College and our RAs and CAs have been working on practical ways to make their experience as student leaders and employees better. Our RAs and CAs are students first, and the wellbeing of our students is always our paramount interest.”
Richardson sees unionization as the tip of the iceberg for what the community can look forward to. “This is going to be a catalyst to further explore and investigate Skidmore of its wrongdoings on behalf of the administration,” explained Richardson. A link to the RAs petition can be found here.