Students Don’t Know How to Handle the State University Faculty Strike
More than 5,000 faculty members at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities went on strike this morning in a move that affects more than 100,000 students, and many of them aren’t really sure what to do about it.
Students have taken to social media to voice their frustration, questions, and, in some cases, celebratory plans amid the first strike in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s 34-year history.
Let's show the teachers our support for the strike with a day keg….
— Charles Livingston (@ChaLivingston) October 19, 2016
The strike, which kicked off at 5 a.m. this morning, comes after months of stagnating contract negotiations between the state education system and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties union, despite Governor Tom Wolf‘s push for both sides to compromise on a new contract for the sake of the students.
— WCU APSCUF (@WCU_APSCUF) October 19, 2016
Wolf said in a statement released this morning that he is “extremely disappointed in the failure of PASSHE and APSCUF to reach an agreement on a contract,” and that the strike is “detrimental to the system and will have far-reaching effects for years to come.”
“In just under two years I have increased funding to the state system by more than $30 million, a 7.5 percent increase over 2014–15, in order to begin restoring the harmful cuts made under the previous administration,” Wolf said. “The shortsightedness on both sides is counter to my efforts on behalf of the system and hurts the dedicated professors and university staff, and students and their families who are paying tuition to these universities.”
This is the scene at West Chester University, where the faculty is on strike pic.twitter.com/pQi0hFI51Z
— Julia Hatmaker (@JuliaHatmaker) October 19, 2016
The state system includes West Chester, Kutztown, Millersville, Shippensburg, Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Lock Haven, Mansfield and Slippery Rock universities, most of which have advised students to show up to class regardless of the strike, with the option of leaving after 15 minutes if the professor is a no-show.
That’s got students feeling all types of ways:
they not playing about the strike. they blow horns, signs, they lit.
— Drake's (@Ravey_TheBoss) October 19, 2016
Wait … universities are on strike ???
— Asj Mugga (@MzBluEMagiC) October 19, 2016
The fact that there is a faculty strike but my micro professor is still going to instruct his class got me fucked up
— Andy Andy (@Follow_Andyy) October 19, 2016
u were just cheering a sec ago q
— Megan (@McCullion11) October 19, 2016
Even students from universities not affected by the strike – like state-related schools Temple University, Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh – felt the need to join in:
I could use a strike tbh
— John Cena (@Johnnnycepp29) October 19, 2016
Wearing my Slippery Rock shirt in honor of all my friends benefitting from the strike today.
— JT Mr.Cakes (@Joshtheblopper) October 19, 2016
Can temple go on strike??? I have a midterm that I'm going to fail if we don't.
— Nik (@nikkvwest) October 19, 2016
Wish my professors went on strike, (just for the week) so I could get the mid-semester break I deserve
— lexi cassi (@buymeA_LEXUS) October 19, 2016
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