By Past President Joanie Cameron Pritchett
I hope that everyone had a wonderful winter break, which provided for time with family and friends and a rest from our busy campus.
I am writing the first of the monthly installments of this year’s President’s Corner. I want to continue to communicate on a regular basis with the CCU and YUSA membership so it can provide a platform for discussion and sharing.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which begins on January 23 and ends on February 9, 2013. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents the emperor and the concept of power. Today, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.
I took a fascinating trip to New York City in October 2011. It was my first time there. This was a family weekend road getaway that felt more like the National Lampoon Vacation movies starring Chevy Chase, but that’s another story!
On my last day there, I came across a street fair and while looking around, noticed some lovely wares from Tibet. Interestingly enough, everything I gravitated to at that moment was symbolic of the Dragon. A woman advised me it was a sign of good luck. Only when I went to research the year 2012 did I realize it was the Year of the Dragon.
I am not a superstitious person, yet I find it difficult to ignore that the universe may be trying to tell me something. Now don’t get me wrong, if the signs were disastrous, I’m certain I would find a way to rationalize it out of existence. But for now, I’m going to embrace these signs and the year of the Dragon. I hope that it brings all of us good fortune, success and happiness!
I believe this year is ultimately one of change for YUSAPUY members at York University. I’m hopeful we can continue to work towards the necessary reforms within our community to foster a positive work environment that inspires those that come to our campus to learn, teach and visit.
I know that at the beginning of a new calendar year, most people reach deep down to seek an optimistic perspective, yet I don’t feel as though I need to dig that deep. I believe in our community and all the possibilities it can provide. I’m still convinced that we can change the processes and policies that don’t serve our community and can create new paths that support the academic objectives of the students.
I have hope, even after so many years, and faith in this community and the YUSAPUY members that participate in the day to day operations at York University that change is possible.
To that end, I will take steps to ensure that changes are in the best interest of our membership and that this employer fully understands that the best asset York University has is its employees. It is the people at York University that come to work and produce education, research and support for the student community that are the fundamental reason for its success.
We don’t need to create obstacles across the York community between employee groups, students or faculty. We need to build bridges through common struggles and celebrating our successes together.
This is all very attainable. Yet we will have to work together to find the path to a better future. That time is closer than we think.
After all, this is the year of the Dragon.
Joanie Cameron Pritchett
President, Confederation of Canadian Unions