When there was first talk about a strike happening, a part of me was excited for a little bit of time off. Little did I know it would last five weeks and I would lose so much only for nothing to be resolved.
I must admit, I did enjoy the first few weeks: catching up on sleep and getting extra hours in at work. But by the beginning of week three, I was keen to get back to class.
Eventually, after driving down Woodroffe every day, I prayed my professors would put down their signs and join us again in the classroom. I prayed that the government would step in. After all, it was affecting hundreds of thousands of people so why wouldn’t they?
As weeks passed and I was still driving past the chaos, I felt there would be no end.
I knew fairness was needed for faculty so I was trying to be patient. But the truth of the matter is that striking hurts students. Faculty may have a lot to fight for, but let’s be clear: students are the only reason faculty have jobs to begin with.
For a whole five weeks, students were left with nothing. We spent our time suffering from uncertainty and financial stress. Students were affected most by something we didn’t even play a part in.
Even now that the strike has ended, the stress definitely has not. The solution to “saving” the semester was taking away more than half of our Christmas holiday to add extra teaching days. Not to mention the parts of the curriculum that were cut- again, robbing us of what we paid for.
Sure, we were offered a refund if we drop out. But how is a second-year student, so close to graduation, supposed to throw in the towel now? Instead, I am forced to work my butt off as I watch my money go down the drain.
So after all this stress and time off, how did it end? After five weeks, the government decided we would head back to class, with nothing resolved, so that’s just what we did. It seems now we have no choice but to move on, as if nothing ever happened.
With around 500,000 students back in class, it seems as if the Ontario college’s historic strike never happened. But while we return to the classroom, the effects on students shouldn’t be forgotten.
Students were denied the education that we pay for, for a whole five weeks. We had no say. There was absolutely nothing we could do to save our education.