Students speak out after strike

Category:  News
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 at 6:01 PM
Students speak out after strike by Dakota Palmer
Photo: Dakota Palmer

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, students, along with a handful of faculty members, gathered together to voice their opinions about the faculty strike that occurred at the 14 Pennsylvania state universities from Oct. 19-21.

The student-run forum was led by Edinboro University seniors Evan Close, Rob Diehl, Liz Mansfield, Conor McCracken, Greg Mizak and Xavier Ross.

Mizak opened the meeting by saying: “One of my biggest objectives was to bring the community that was formed outside in the cold and rain, indoors to somewhere that was less miserable. We can start to figure out how to keep the community that we created out there [on the picket line] going on the inside and maybe we can discuss new ways that we can do that.”

He was referring to a large group of students who came together during the faculty strike to picket with their professors, deliver snacks and water to them, and make signs to show their solidarity.

Mizak added, “Three days and 40 hours really became the defining experience for my time here [at Edinboro].”

Throughout the meeting, many students made comments about how grateful they were for the opportunity to be involved in the strike, even if it was only minimally.

Mansfield said: “Each person had such a vital role. Even if you weren't one of the people who was out on the front lines, you guys all did such incredible things and I just want to say, even if you feel like your portion wasn't noticed, it was noticed and it was much appreciated.”

Additionally, students expressed their appreciation for their faculty members.

One student said: “I get so much support from my professors: not just academic stuff, but life decisions. They are more than just teachers; they’re family and friends and they help me with job decisions and everything like that so I really appreciate you guys and your support.”

Close described how he saw the culture of the campus and the student body change during the strike: “I'm a senior and ever since I was a freshman, I came in here with retrenchment thoughts. It might've just been my perception, but I just got a sense of general apathy from the student body up until the strike...the strike symbolized almost an end to that retrenchment.”

McCraken agreed and said: “Personally, from my own vantage point, I can definitively say that I've never felt more in mesh with Edinboro, the whole community and university, up until last week. I’ve never felt more part of the community than I did over those three days.”

McCracken also said the students ultimately came together for the good of the community, rather than the good of themselves.

“If we didn’t feel obligated to act in the way we did, then we wouldn’t have. It’s as simple as that.”

“You get out what you put in, and you guys put in a heck of a lot for us,” he said to the professors in the room.

The group wants to continue to make differences on campus and in the Edinboro community, although they are not sure what they want to take on next.

McCracken said, “The momentum gained in those last three days is something that we can transition going forward.” 

Dakota Palmer is The Voices Editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: strike, apscuf, passhe

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