Meet Our Union Monday: Ali Shapiro

LEO+Meet+Our+Union+181108.jpg

Every Monday, look forward to meeting another one of your fellow union members and hearing about how they got involved in LEO. This series is a way for us to learn about our fellow Lecs, and remind ourselves that We Are the Union!


This week, meet Ali Shapiro, a Lecturer of Writing in the School of Art and Design on Ann Arbor campus. Ali is a member of Communications Committee, which has long been established by the MOUM series as ~the best~. Just kidding, though the bias of the series definitely has nothing to do with the fact that Comms runs this blog. We promise! Read about Ali’s experience with union activism below, and let us know if you’re interested in getting involved in a union committee here!

shapiro edwp photo - Alison Shapiro.jpg

What's your name?

Ali Shapiro

What do you teach and on which campus?

I teach First Year Writing at the Stamps School of Art & Design (Ann Arbor).

How long have you taught at the University of Michigan?

5 years

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

Robyn's "Dancing On My Own." And I should be on my own while dancing. Because I'm a terrible dancer.

What was your first experience with unions or the first time you learned what a union was?

I freelanced for a few years between college and grad school, which made getting health insurance complicated and expensive. I distinctly remember seeing an ad for the Freelancer's Union on an NYC subway and being like, "OH! It's not just me!" This was one of many moments of realization: that certain things were hard because the system was set up to make them hard, and the only way to "beat" that system was to band together with others.

What union committee(s) are you on and what is your favorite part of being involved?

I’m on the Communications Committee. My favorite part is brainstorming slogans and logos—it’s a good outlet if you’re someone who, like me, could happily debate the relative merits of calling this feature “Meet Your Union” vs “Meet Yer Union” vs “Meet Our Union” vs “Meetcha Union” vs “Unpeel Your Union Onion”…forever.

Why should a LEO member join your committee?

See above.

I distinctly remember seeing an ad for the Freelancer’s Union on an NYC subway and being like, “OH! It’s not just me!” This was one of many moments of realization: that certain things were hard because the system was set up to make them hard, and the only way to “beat” that system was to band together with others.

Football or basketball?

Uh, sports?

Current obsession?

Contract grading.

What century would you want to live in (excluding 21st and 20th)?

I’d really just like to see what’s going on in other timelines.

Hard shell or soft shell (tacos)?

A burrito.

Favorite LEO slogan from this past round of bargaining (could be one we actually used, or one we considered)?

Respect the Lecs. I’m a sucker for a slightly slanty rhyme.

Your personal fight song--the one that gets you fired up to fight the good fights?

Violet by Hole.

Share a guilty watch (a movie or show that’s probably no good but you enjoy anyway)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer over and over again and I don’t feel guilty at all.

What’s a favorite book you read in the past few years, fiction or non-?

I’ll plug two graphic novels: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (girl werewolf detective fights for justice in 60s Chicago!) and Big Kids by Michael DeForge (gay teen boy turns into a tree!).

What would you like to eat for your last meal?

Annie’s mac and cheese with roasted broccoli mixed in.

What superpower would you least like to have?

Superhearing or supersmelling.

In one word, describe your experience with LEO so far.

Inspiring!

If you could teach something in another discipline for a semester, what would you teach?

Dog training.

[In one word, my experience with LEO has been] inspiring.

What’s one pleasant surprise about your experience with our union?

Showing up makes a difference.

What was your favorite question on this quiz?

I liked the sequence that allowed me to think about Courtney Love followed by Buffy followed by comics followed by mac and cheese. What an embarrassment of riches!

LEO Communications Committee