Students Don’t Know How to Handle the State University Faculty Strike

Students are taking to social media to voice their frustration, questions, and, in some cases, celebratory plans amid the first-ever strike in the state's higher education system.

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.

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.

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.”

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:

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:

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