Often, students are eager for days off school, whether it is for the holidays or a break prompted by inclement winter weather.
But that’s not the case for thousands of students on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University.
The students, who are paying for their education and, for many, will be paying for that education for years to come, won’t be heading to class today.
These students, thanks to a strike set to begin this morning by most of the teaching faculty at St. FX, are now left to wonder and worry about whether they will be able to finish out their year and what impact the strike will have on their education and futures.
As of Monday morning, members of the St. FX Association of University Teachers (AUT) are in a legal strike position. Despite meetings last week between both sides, the strike by AUT appears to inevitable, with the union saying it has no other option but to strike.
In fact, 80 per cent of the university’s professors have voted in favour of the move.
At issue, according to the union, is wage parity with other university staff. So, essentially, what it all boils down to is money.
That’s little consolation to the thousands of students, whose money has already been spent on the current semester and are now left out in the cold wondering whether the classes and instruction they have paid for will continue or, if the strike goes ahead today, reconvene.
There are countless Islanders attending St. FX, two of whom spoke about their concerns to the Journal Pioneer.
One is in his last semester in his fourth year of a business degree and the other student had transferred to the university this year.
Both, like their fellow students, are wondering what happens next.
There are some professors, for the sake of education, that have indicated they plan to cross the picket line Monday morning and, for the sake of their students, continue to teach.
But what happens to the students not fortunate enough to be in these classes? What about their education?
While earning a favourable and comparable wage in any profession is expected, what are these educators teaching their students by walking out on their students’ education?
By all appearances, they are teaching these students that money matters more than their futures.