VCU Commonwealth Times: “We’re talking about someone’s life”: VCUarts adjuncts plan a day of action to demand equitable pay

Excerpts from VCU Commonwealth Times article:

VCUarts adjunct professors will stage a day of action Dec. 8 to demand fair pay from the School of the Arts. They plan to hold a rally at the Compass, deliver a petition with more than 900 signatures to the Board of Visitors meeting and demand to have their wages raised for the upcoming semester.

An estimated 120 adjuncts in the No. 1 public art school in the country currently make $750 to $850 dollars per credit hour taught. They are capped at teaching two classes per semester, which means they would make an estimated $9,000 to $10,200 per year, before taxes.

The federal poverty line in the United States sits at $12,082, according the Census Bureau.

For example, in the 2016-2017 academic year, the school had a total budget of $33,659,043. Of that, VCUarts allocated more than $32 million on educational and general expenses. The school distributed $890,000 of restricted university funds, which consist of gifts to the particular departments, investment earnings and more throughout the school.

The organization argues the school should use other funds in the school to properly pay their adjunct faculty rather than turning to raising student tuition.

The organization presented Brixey and other VCUarts administrators with research examining the average cost of living in Richmond and the federal poverty line in the United States — this led them to their suggestion of $2,000 per credit hour taught for adjuncts.

According to Trepanier, Brixey said the school will raise adjunct pay to $1,000 per credit hour for the upcoming semester by tapping into reserve funds, per approval from the Board of Visitors. However, it was never clarified whether the funds were primarily from VCUarts or from the university.

“This is an urgent crisis. The Dean is moving into a new house, but there are a lot of adjuncts that have been homeless within the last year,” the adjunct said. “When we’re talking about equity issues, we’re not just talking about what’s fair and unfair, we’re talking about someone’s life and where they’re going to sleep at night.”

The adjunct also raised the concern of not being able to dedicate enough time to students because of the various jobs art adjuncts often work to pay bills.

“In terms of budgeting time, when a lot of us are working three jobs or have to drive to Virginia Tech the next day to teach, a lot of that does take a toll on the classroom,” they said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the career development of the students.”

Trepanier spoke out because she does not plan to return to VCU after her contract ends in December. She also has other forms of income she relies on, but said that’s not that case for all of her colleagues.

“People are terrified to speak up because they don’t want to lose that little bit of income that they do have,” Trepanier said. “If you eventually want a full-time job, and you go on record and they see that out on media, then schools won’t hire you because you’re a troublemaker.”

From FaceBook event page:

What: VCU Adjunct Fair Pay Rally and petition drop

When: 9am December 8th, 2017

Where: In front of the VCU Cabell Library (bring signs, wear t-shirts) From the front of Cabell Library we will walk as a group and deliver the petition to the VCU Board of Visitors.

If you haven’t signed the petition yet please do so at https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/vcuarts-adjuncts-deserve-fair-pay

Upholstery Workshops Offered

From Pine Street neighbor Haleh Pedram’s post (reposted with permission):

Hello DIYer neighbors and friends! Starting immediately I will be offering Saturday morning basic upholstery workshops. Three hour sessions, $75 includes instruction, use of proper tools and materials (not including foam or fabric).

10 am- 1 pm at my studio on Pine street. Each session limited to two attendees, you needn’t be from the neighborhood but I thought this was a good place to start.

Get your place spruced up by the holidays and have the pride of knowing you did it yourself. Haleh.pedram@gmail.com to sign up or for more details. Thanks!

Vinyl Conflict, Rest in Pieces Rock Pine Street

Subculture shops Vinyl Conflict and Rest in Pieces threw a successful block party on S. Pine Street Saturday. The “customer appreciation day” event included sidewalk sales, food trucks, live music, a mechanical spider for neighborhood tots to ride, and lots of sunshine!

This was the third such event, initially dreamed up by Vinyl Conflict owner Bobby Egger as an alternative to Record Store Day. Rather than cue up around the block for limited-edition, high-dollar vinyl rarities, the record store’s followers fingered through piles of discounted tee shirts and seven-inch singles.
There was, however, some crafty, limited-edition merchandise available to lure customers out early. My wife showed up right at 10 A.M. to snag this cute tote of a lazy egg listening to records.

Thrash bands Prisoner, Left Cross, and Dark Thoughts played sensational sets later in the day.

Egger, who lives in the neighborhood with his wife Melissa, says he feels entirely welcome as a shop owner in Oregon Hill. “Foot traffic has increased since Rest in Pieces opened,” he notes. “I would love to see more businesses open, and there are retail spaces opening up around the neighborhood.”
Oregon Hill’s dining and daring retail shops are must-do destinations for both locals and out-of-towners. Saturday’s block party, aside from being a blast, undoubtedly revealed the neighborhood’s potential for even bigger and better things.

–Johnathan Rickman

Vinyl Conflict Customer Appreciation Day Flyer

From Vinyl Conflict:

CLEAR YOUR CALANDERS
Established in 2008 Vinyl Conflict still stands strong as Richmonds hub for all things Hardcore Punk Metal.

Customer Appreciation Day is where we give BACK to you, not a ploy to sell you items you think you need.

This year we join forces with our new neighbors REST IN PIECES to bring you a duel customer appreciation day, its time yall met!

STUDIO TWO THREE mobile print shop will be set up this year! Make your own VC or RIP swag! Learn to screen print! Support an awesome organization!

BLACK RABBIT TATTOO will be doing VC and RIP flash sheets all day over at their location.

CHARM SCHOOL will be set up with Regular and Vegan Ice Cream treats!

MORE INFO TBA:
– BANDS
– FOOD
– SCREEN PRINTING
– CONTESTS
and much more to be announced in the weeks to come.

Make sure you can be around for this!

The Foundry Market At Tredegar This Sunday

The American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works is hosting ‘The Foundry Market’ from 12 pm to 4 pm this Sunday (and also June 11).

From event description:

The American Civil War Museum’s Foundry Market is an artisan craft fair with an emphasis on handmade, local products. We’ll have vendors from across the state, demonstrations of craftsman at work, and food trucks.

Bring the whole family down for a Sunday at Historic Tredegar and imagine what our bustling ironworks might have been like 150 years ago.

PARTICIPATING VENDORS:
Beego Handmade
Flourish Creative
Grid+Love
Liberatus Jewelry
Matthew Pellman
Morris and Norris
MudLOVE
New Custom
Nicholas Creek Forge
PaperFreckles
Paper Rose
Petite Shards Productions
Renan Banjos
Robin’s Egg Jewelry
Ruby Belle Adornments
Sew Brave Designs
The Bird & Elephant
The Timbered Wolf
The Wild Wander
thimbleberry

….and more!

‘Oregon Hill’ Author To Speak At Crime Novel Talk Tomorrow

From Kelly Justice, proprietor of Fountain Bookstore (in Shockoe Slip):

Join us for a night of conversation about what goes on behind the scenes of writing successful and award-winning series crime fiction. I will be moderating Swinson and Owen (two very charming gentlemen in addition to being very talented) about their books.

I paired them together because they both have so much in common: both have main characters on the more serious side of flawed, both employ the blackest of humor to great effect, both write with a deeply rooted sense of place. Swinson’s books take place in D.C., Owen’s in Richmond.

This is a good opportunity to ask Owen questions about his ‘Oregon Hill’ novel as well as his more recent works.