State system universities recover from union strike

Category:  News
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 6:36 PM
State system universities recover from union strike by Macala Leigey
Photo: Jacob McCool

More than two weeks after the faculty union strike, life at the 14 Pennsylvania state system universities has mostly returned to normal.

“Our university does not need to recover. Our chancellor needs to recover,” said Ed Lordan, spokesperson for West Chester University Association of Pennsylvania State College Union Faculties (APSCUF).

“He failed to grasp the solidarity of the faculty, students and community. It was Brogan's job to understand the dynamics, and he did not. We were a united group.”

Lordan continued, “This was stressful on everyone involved — students, their parents, the faculty, the administration, [and] the communities. I'm hoping that the two sides can work this out in a mature manner going forward, with both sides giving toward the middle, so that we can avoid this in the next round.”

Edinboro University APSCUF spokesperson Jim Wertz commented on the strike at Edinboro, stating, “We had 99 percent participation in the job action, in addition to the love and support of countless students and many area unions who marched with us in the rain, brought us coffee and food, and reminded us we weren't alone.”

Along with faculty members, students from the various 14 state system universities commented on life during and after the strike.

Clarion University

“University life has mostly gone back to normal, with just a little confusion due to the fact that this hasn’t really happened before,” said Clarion University student Tessa Waring.

Waring also shared that Clarion students have to make up the time they lost in the classroom.

“I stand with my faculty of my university and agree that even though it was a tough decision, it was the right decision to strike,” Waring said. Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)

“I’m pretty sure everything is normal. No one is even talking about it,” said Indiana University student Brett Bloom.

Bloom continued: “The flow, I feel, was disrupted. The tests were moved around and assignment due dates are pretty confusing right now.”

Bloom also shared that IUP students have to make up the missed class time, but when has yet to be clarified.

“I heard something about having to be here during the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving break, but it could be rumors.”

Logan Witherite, another IUP student, also commented on the strike.

“I personally didn’t mind the strike; it was a nice three days off, but I’m glad that the teachers got everything resolved and we are back on track,” Witherite said.

Lock Haven University (LHU)

The only changes are that professors seem a little stressed trying to accommodate all the new scheduling,” said Lock Haven University student Kealy Wassil.

Wassil continued, “One English professor actually left, leaving one my professors to have to take over her comp class halfway through the semester. She is now teaching seven or eight classes.”

Wassil also shared that part of Lock Haven’s recovery process is making up missed class time. 

“We do have to make up time, but the provost chose the times and all new class plans must be approved by the dean. It seems as though they are just trying to make things hard on the professors,” Wassil said.

She continued, “I’m glad the teachers went on strike and there was a ton of student support.”

“I understood what it (the strike) was about and I thought it was necessary. It was nerve- wracking because some of my classes had exams that I didn’t know if I was going to take and I didn’t know when things were due...I couldn’t talk to my professors, so that made it even more frustrating,” said Bloomsburg University student Janessa Riddell.

Riddell continued, “I think it impacted Bloom as a historical event and its classes, but because it was only three days there doesn’t seem to be a huge impact that is noticeable.”

Like the other state system universities, Bloomsburg has to make up missed class time. However, Bloomsburg has implemented “time slots” as a way of making up the missed class time.

“Some students are going to class an hour or two earlier, but most [classes] are being made up on Fridays. There are time slots for your class, so you could have a 6 a.m. make-up class, or a 6 p.m. class that is the time of your normal class,” Riddell said.

Riddell also shared that Bloomsburg had minimal recovery after the strike. “Everything has returned to normal. There isn’t anything different or new. I don’t think we as students have to recover from anything except our class material. Teachers would probably have to recover from new class plans and money problems.”

Slippery Rock University (SRU)

“Campus life, for me, is exactly the same since the strike occurred. It’s honestly like it never even happened,” said Slippery Rock University student Haley McKendrick.

Although life has returned to normal at Slippery Rock, students still have to make-up class time lost, due to the strike.

“Most of my professors are trying to work around their class and student campus life schedules, while also trying to fit the needs of their own,” McKendrick said.

McKendrick also expressed how she felt towards the faculty union strike.

“As a student, I was for the strike. I loved that the professors took a stand for themselves. I believe that students advance through their professors; professors are the sole reason for students’ success and achievements, whether it be for their education or in life.”

McKendrick continued, “By going on strike, the professors taught us the most important lesson: stand up for what you believe in.” 

Macala Leigey is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: strike, passhe, apscuf

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