It has now been exactly a month since the day CUPE3903, the union that represents TA’s and part-time professors decided to go on strike, forcing 50,000 students out of classes immediately. Many of my friends at other universities, who are cramming for exams right now, tell me that I am the luckiest person on earth and should not even think about complaining!
So I decided to sort of depict both sides of the coin here. Yes we don’t have school, but this is not a break like the summer break. This is not really a break people, you are up in the air , all your plans for the winter holidays, summer holidays, summer jobs anything that requires planning ahead (so everything) is affected by this terrible uncertainty that exists here . What makes it all the more frustrating is that nobody has an answer for you, not the Union, not the University, not the Student Federation, not any professor or official. What I seem to get from everyone is “we don’t know hopefully it will end soon”. And it makes me want to scream at them, all the 50 000 students are being kept like hostages while the greedy union and greedy university are not EVEN NEGOTIATING. That’s right, as I am writing this today, their talks have been suspended, nothing no conversation, they’re both kind of chilling while all the students suffer…
Don’t get me wrong, I love having a break but only when I know how long it is and when I am supposed to go back and what is expected of me when I do go back. Right now school can start tomorrow and all my projects and presentations will be due tomorrow, or it can start in January. So I cannot plan anything, for example I had almost purchased tickets to visit my grandparents in May however as of now I don’t know if I will finish in June or August or whenever. What makes this even more annoying is that once we are back, all professors will most likely be forced to compress material that is supposed to be taught in 2 months into a couple of weeks and immediately we are going to have exams without a reading week. We have paid for a full semester but we won’t be given that or any money back because according to York we are still getting the credit and finishing the courses.
Overall, it is an ugly think , this strike business , it is very frustrating and I will be willing to switch spots with all of you doing exams right now, because at least you know that your semester will end after the exams and then you will have a real break during which you have no responsibilities to worry about. A break is not a break if you are constantly worrying about all the work that’s going to be thrown at you when you go back to school and about all the self studying that you should be doing and haven’t. I didn’t go to the so called best business school in Canada to be self taught! I mean you are merely motivated to do the readings when you are in class how do you expect people to be motivated to read ahead and do the work while not even in class!
Also ever since the second week of the strike, Osgood (Law School) students have gone back to class, so have Schulich students in third and fourth year who have exchange students in their classes or who are going on exchange next semester. So seems like if you are important enough you get to go back to school but if you are a regular undergrad student, your life lost does not seem to matter much to the administration….
Simply put, if I could go back to last may and choose universities once again, I would definitely, without a doubt go to one of the other 10 programs I was accepted to in different universities. Also keep in mind transferring in the middle of a semester would mean I would lose a semester and my tuition.