Union celebrates 40th anniversary, legacy

Tashi Wangchuk


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Culinary arts major Carlos Garrison tends to salmon kebabs during the United Faculty Barbecue event near the chess tables in front of the Applied Arts Building on Wednesday. The event featured entertainment as well as free lunches for students.

By Christian Urrutia, Editor-in-Chief

The United Faculty reminded students that faculty working conditions equate to student learning conditions by treating them to free barbecue on Wednesday, in front of the Applied Arts Building near the chess tables.

This was done to honor its 40th anniversary operating as the independent, (contract) negotiating union for faculty districtwide.

“We’re throwing a party, buying everyone lunch. We’ve got some UF swag to hand out (to staff and faculty) and wanted to let students know the UF fights for students’ rights and we wanted to celebrate (good) moments that we have had as a union and reflect on our history in the district,” UF Executive Director Jeffrey Michels said.

UF representatives worked in collaboration with the culinary arts department to prepare food for classified staff and managers, faculty and students, enough to feed 426 people in total, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., when the food had disappeared.

 UF President Donna Wapner handed out  tickets to everyone lined up to keep count while three other tents were set up in the quad — one for live music, another for the ASU and the third for students and faculty alike to sit under.

Culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes said, “Jeff asked me to help out and cook enough food for 300 people but we went and did 350 anyway because we always add extra to (event orders) like these. We had proof (with the tickets) that we ran out of food. People were still in line, so we had to make some more salad quickly for those still waiting.”

The food consisted of hot dogs, chicken skewers, potato salad, green salad and salmon, while water and fruit juice were offered adjacent to the servers.

Fruits were provided as a side, and deserts were mini raspberry flavored Danishes.

Students first began lining up when Dr. Michels set up the UF stand and table at the top of the Lot 11 staircase, until the line became too long and spilled into the parking lot. 

It was then, that the line switched from going down the staircase to between the tables and tents, where it was able to extend farther without causing too much of an interference.   

John Martinez, liberal arts major, said he was originally in the AA Building to purchase Food and Wine Event tickets for this past Sunday’s gathering, but was told by culinary arts students there was going to be free food, come 11:30 a.m.

“They said free food for the first 300 students, (although) they didn’t tell me what it was for,” Martinez said.

The CCC barbecue is the first in a series of three lunchtime celebrations honoring the UF’s 40th year, with the next two taking place at Diablo Valley College in their outdoor commons today from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Los Medanos College May 4 in their outside quad area from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Wapner said, “(The district’s) United Faculty is an independent union and was the first independent faculty union in the state. We wanted to celebrate with this great (lunch).”