Okay. So the National Communication Association has once again booked its annual convention in a venue experiencing labor disputes. I have to admit that I am pissed off. For the first time in years, I swallowed my objections and wound up on three panels. Now, we’re expected not only to relocate our sessions (if we can find room at SFSU), but to have all panelists sign a statement that THEY ARE OKAY WITH THIS. So we have to do all this extra work AND we still violate the boycott by supporting the organization that’s holding its convention at the bloody Hilton.
For what it’s worth, here is the letter I sent to NCA about the situation. On the fence as to whether I’ll go or not.
Dear Dr. Braithwaite:
I am appalled that NCA has not adopted the policy of other major professional organizations, like the American Studies Association, which is to vet the convention venue before booking it to insure that there are no labor conflicts.
This is the second time that such a situation has arisen in the past five years and it really disadvantages faculty members and graduate students who care about unions. In addition to our other responsibilities vis a vis the convention, we are now asked to do the work of entirely reorganizing the sites for our presentations. In addition, this also puts us in the position of implicitly violating the boycott by continuing to support the organization holding the convention.
If NCA is politically neutral, it would make sense for the organization to follow the lead of ASA in order to avoid these situations in the future. Otherwise, the organization will continue to discourage its progressive members from participating.
Carol A. Stabile, Professor
School of Journalism and Communication; English Department; Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Oregon