Feeding the continuation of support garnered during the Women’s March on Washington, the United University Professors (UUP) Chapter of New Paltz decided to approach the newest movement, “A Day Without Women,” in an innovative way that would allow members to participate without striking.
On Wednesday, March 8, UUP members gathered outside Jacobson Faculty Tower in order to show solidarity for International Women’s Day. At 11 a.m., members adorned in red began encouraging passersbys to support their symbolic approach by taking photos and celebrating International Women’s Day.
Members were quick to discuss the importance of addressing issues regarding the female role in workforces.
Member of executive committee for the UUP and co-chair for New Paltz Chapter of Women’s Rights and Concerns Committee Kiersten Greene explained that while the union couldn’t legally strike due to Taylor Law, a law that prevents NYS municipal workers from doing just that, they collectively decided to do something symbolic in order to show support for the people who were taking part in abstaining from going to work.
Greene cited a lack of recognition for women as the reason for their efforts being so necessary.
“Women still make less than men do even though women typically tend to work more than men do,” she said. “Here at SUNY New Paltz women are still being underpaid and I think bringing in the economic factor today really drives it home.”
SUNY New Paltz associate professor of anthropology and active UUP Member Dr. Lauren Meeker explained that “A Day Without Women” would easily put into perspective the impact women have on everyday life.
“Women’s March on Washington organized ‘A Day Without Women’ in order to visualize what the world would look like without women partaking in their labor or spending money,” Meeker said.
In lieu of these continued efforts, SUNY New Paltz professor of Composition, Rhetoric and Women’s Literature Kathena Hasbrouck-Degrassi commended the actions being made to better the conditions for women on campus although there is still work to be done.
“I can’t speak, unfortunately, for student awareness as a whole, because there are surely some people who haven’t taken notice or who don’t read the news,” she said. “But I’m pretty confident that there is at the very least a basic understanding that there is still some drastic inequality rampant at home and abroad,” she said.
Hasbrouck-Degrassi cites 2017 as the year those who might’ve once been quiet have begun to find their voice.