Retirees Association

WYSO: Wright State faculty union strike: what students should know

Student forum

Excerpt from WYSO

Wright State University’s faculty union is preparing for a campus-wide strike next week. The strike by more than 500 union members is set to begin Tuesday. And Wright State students -- many of whom just returned last week for the spring semester -- are concerned about how the strike could affect them. 

For more on the latest developments with the faculty strike, WYSO editor Jess Mador spoke with WYSO reporter April Laissle.

Jess Mador: Wright State students organized a town hall meeting earlier this week to discuss the strike and how it could impact them and you attended that, April. Tell us what did you find out at the forum?

April Laissle: Well, mainly I learned there's a lot of confusion among students right now. I asked a few students there why they came to the event and what concerns they had. And here's a little sampling of what they told me:

Student Jonathon Yenser: "I wasn't sure whether it was even worth it to show up to classes. There's people telling me that the work that we do in the class could go for a grade, and the work that we do in class probably won't go for a grade, so I'm just trying to figure out some answers, figure out what I'm going to do."

Student Shyanne Rice: "I don't know. It's really making me mad because it's like, I feel like they're keeping stuff away from us. They're not telling us the whole truth. So, I guess we'll just have to see next week.

Student Elyse Angle: "You know, we're trying our best to kind of downplay it and forget about it but that's not possible when the chaos is visible from the student perspective and it's distressing. Like, really distressing."

Jess Mador: Wow. So those students that we heard from clearly sound confused about the messages they're receiving on campus about what's going to happen next week.

April Laissle: Definitely. One of the big things they're concerned about is financial aid. All Wright State students got an email from the administration on Wednesday kind of outlining the ways in which the strike could impact financial aid. The email basically said that students could lose federal financial aid if they stop attending classes. Now, what this really means is that for students on federal financial aid like Pell Grants for example, their aid could be changed if they drop out of classes entirely. That’s called withdrawal. Or if, at the end of the semester, their instructor marks them as unofficially withdrawn because they stopped attending classes altogether. Now, that determination is at the discretion of the instructor at the end of this semester. In all likelihood the strike will be over at the end of the semester and the determination will be made by the students' original faculty member and not the substitute during the strike. For reference, most higher-ed strikes last year ended in about a week.