Anti-climactic strike scare may have buried important issues
Following news on March 2 that WLUFA would not be going on strike and that the university would not lock them out, many people were shocked considering the outrage that the faculty displayed and communicated during the weeks leading up to the agreement.
The administration was careful to distinguish that the “no board” report on March 3 would not guarantee a strike, students were communicated a different sentiment from the most vocal of faculty.
This could just be a case of the more vocal participants having a tendency to “jump the gun” on negotiations, but this does not explain what seemed like a concerted effort from WLUFA to inform the students of the negative consequences of the administration’s uncompromised demands.
WLUFA placed advertisements in The Cord and wrote letters to demonstrate their counter-demands. Students who felt that they had a stake in the dispute sympathized with the faculty and understood why a strike would occur.
Issues brought up about overexpansion, rising tuition fees and an emphasis on teaching over research are now bound to be swept off the table as a settlement has already been reached with the faculty. But, don’t these issues still present a real debate that the administration has not adequately engaged the students in?
Also, with the faculty’s settlement shouldn’t students feel like they have been used as political tools?
Our experience with the potential WLUFA strike has been anti-climactic. We were drawn to the cause because of real issues but since the contingent demands of WLUFA have been met, many of these issues are now being forgotten.
The impression that this gives off to the students is that the strike was just an empty threat – a buzzword – used to get our attention. The students now understand the issues that eventually broke negotiations down and WLUFA’s hasty, unexpected settlement seems out of place.