Students speak up: Their perspectives on strike

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 at 4:53 PM
Students speak up: Their perspectives on strike by Hannah Webster
Photo: Emma Stratton

Last week, the Association of Pennsylvania State College Union Faculties (ASPCUF) held a three day strike, which sparked a noticeable support from students, some joining the picket line at its beginnings on Oct. 19 at 5 a.m. Many Edinboro University students stood with their professors at the lines, ran errands for them, and delivered treats to them, such as cookies, soup and water.

“They go above and beyond for us,” said Edinboro University junior sculpture major Kattie Jones. She explained that it’s impossible to get the major-specific education students need without the professors that they’ve become so comfortable with.

Jones explained that she would leave if the state fired any of the professors in the art department. She is comfortable with her professors and they know her skills. She trusts their education and experience.

Alexandra Leopold, a senior at Edinboro, shared how her professors have had a lasting impression on her and have impacted her growth as a student and individual.

“My professors have done so much for me, so much to mold the kind of person that I want to be; the kind of values that I have, the love I have for education, for knowledge,” Leopold said.

She continued, “Everything I have experienced is due to their hard work and dedication — obviously my passion as well — but they helped facilitate that for me.” Another Edinboro student standing on the picket line with professors stated, “I love them (their professors). They’re great. They’ve helped me out a lot; they’ve helped everybody so far beyond what they’re expected to do to help everyone. So we should do the same for them.”

Many students were also concerned about how the state was viewing the issue.

“We’re customers. We’re not even like people,” Jones said.

Edinboro junior Sarah Sweet added to Jones’ statement, by saying, “We’re a statistic.”

“I don’t want to be a statistic,” said Edinboro student Laura Kiesling.

Leopold shared her concern about students being the true victims if a negotiation was unavailable.

“We [students] are going to suffer the consequences. State schools are going to receive sub-par education, the quality is going to go down, and I would hate to see that happen to such an amazing place,” Leopold said.

She continued, “They need to view this as not some kind of bureaucratic issue, they need to view us as students, not consumers of some product, and they need to look out for the greater good and the greater picture.”

Sweet is not only concerned about her current education, but her future career.

“As a future educator, if I don’t like the way they’re being treated, why would I like the way they treated me when I become an educator?”

Kattie Victor, a junior music education major at Edinboro, was concerned about losing her financial aid if the strike was to continue longer than the three days it did.

“It’s (the strike) not fair to the professors, nor is it fair to us. I’m not getting the quality education that I pay 26 grand a year for,” Victor said.

Serena Higby, a first year social work major, expressed her concern for the future of her children and wants the best opportunities for them.

“In the future I want my kids to have the opportunity to A.) teach at a good school, or B.) go to a good school to get an education.”

Kiesling, a junior graphic design, photography, and business major, explained that her professors prepared her for the possible strike without directly coming out and saying it would happen. She was given assignments to work on over the break as well.

“They made sure we were okay before it all happened,” Kiesling said.

These students expressed a lot of concern for their professors’ well being, as well as their own.

“This effects everybody and it’s not only a positive effect on them, but it’s also a positive effect on students. You don’t wanna see
them lose their positions after all of the hard work that they’ve put in for us,” said Rachel Carpinello, a junior woodworking and sculpture major at Edinboro University. 

Hannah Webster is a social media editor for The Spectator. 

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