There was a successful turnout at the March 27 Legislative Luncheon on the Camden Campus. With approximately 50 people in attendance and the Chief of Staff from both Senators Sweeney and Norcross’ office, the Rutgers-Camden community had the opportunity to pose their concerns regarding issues that affect them in South Jersey, specifically questions about the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowen University. The representatives listened to the concerns and answered questions from staff, faculty and students about the Camden–Rowan merger.
Norcross’ Chief of Staff, Michael Maitland, informed those in attendance that the Senator was aware of their concerns, that he didn’t support the merger, and that the questions raised at the meeting would be taken back to the Senator. He also suggested to those in attendance that they could also email the Senator their concerns/questions. Some in attendance informed him that they had but that they didn’t receive a response. He then asked them to provide him with their email address, but also mentioned that a response was also provided in the Op Ed of a local newspaper. Senator Sweeney’s Chief of Staff, Anthony Reznick, informed the group that he was new to the position but he would report back to the Senator the concerns and questions raised. He also noted that due to his lack of insight into the situation he would not be able to comment or address any questions on the merger.
From the feedback received the event was well received and appreciation was given to the URA-AFT for hosting the event. Representatives from the AAUP, graduate students, TA’s, staff from other unions, management, and even a faculty member of the Board of Trustees present at the meeting. The legislative committee will continue to participate in ongoing discussions and events surrounding the Camden–Rowan merger.