*Editor’s Note: Article co-written by Kaitlyn Pope.
Everyone has heard about the strike, but do you know the true reasons behind it? A common misconception that many have is that the strike is all about faculty getting a raise. However, in reality, this strike is about much more than that.
The current contract proposal is posing a threat to the quality of our education. An education that we all have to pay and work hard for. If PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) has their way, our university will offer less courses and majors. They also want to offer more classes online, making classes extremely difficult for those who need a physical classroom to better learn. PASSHE is also trying to enact a policy that if there aren’t enough students in a course/major they will just get rid of it or combine it with another department. We are a liberal arts college, yet they don’t seem to believe in liberal arts colleges. And what of our teachers?
PASSHE wants to establish rules that would make it possible for professors to have to teach at different PASSHE colleges/universities within the same semester and to teach different classes, even if it is not their specialization. This means less office hours, less time for student research, and overall lessens our quality of education. This proposal affects us, students, in so many ways. It compromises the credibility and value of our degrees, our preparedness to enter the workforce, and most importantly, our future. So is the strike about our professors getting a raise? In part yes, but in whole it is so much more than that.
The strike is set to start on Oct. 19 if a negotiation is not met between PASSHE and APSCUF. As of now, the only dates scheduled to meet regarding negotiations are Friday, Sept. 30, Oct. 14, 15, and 16.
Students can get more information during student sit-ins at Carver Hall on Mondays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are also meetings with APSCUF (Association of Pennsylvania State Colleges and University Faculties) staff on Wednesdays in Hartline G-42 at 9 p.m. in which students get obtain specifics regarding the strike and where APSCUF and PASSHE stand. Students can also join the Facebook group, Bloomsburg Students United for information, events, etc. or log on to APSCUF’s website. http://www.apscuf.org
There’s also a petition that students, parents, or anyone concerned can sign, telling the State System to settle on a contract.