By now everyone in Pennsylvania has probably heard that there is a potential strike looming over the 14 Pennsylvania State Universities. Most people have brushed this off as just another union that is unhappy with their contract who should stop whining and get to work. Others strongly support the members of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) and believe that the contract proposed by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) is unfair to them.
Plenty of people know what is going on in regards to the types of negotiations that are occurring to try to resolve this issue. They also know when the negotiations take place, and that if an agreement is not reached by 5:00 a.m. on Oct. 19, the faculty will be going on strike.
But what about us? What happens to the students if this strike is to happen? I have heard plenty of alleged plans that could be put in place and things that could happen if the strike lasts too long; however, nothing is concrete.
The reason this upsets me as much as it does is because we, the students, pay both of these entities to get our educations. We pay the professors’ salaries. We pay taxes to the State of Pennsylvania. So why is it that during all this negotiation between PASSHE and APSCUF that nobody on either side has taken into account the students? They don’t ask us for our opinion, even though it is our money they are spending and our education they are putting in jeopardy. But, most importantly, they won’t even give us answers about what could happen if the possibility of a strike becomes a reality on Wednesday.
I have heard rumors as to what could happen to seniors who are supposed to graduate in December. I would be terrified if I was in that position. I have also heard talk of the semester being cancelled and questions as to whether or not our tuition would be refunded to us. However, all of this is hearsay and cannot be trusted as the truth.
If all goes well, the strike will not happen on Wednesday, and we won’t have to worry about anything. If the strike does occur, that is when I implore you as Bloomsburg University students, and as students in the PASSHE system, to voice your opinions. Tell your government what you think. But most importantly, ask questions about how this will affect you and your future as a college student/graduate.