By Laura Quain
Students arrived to an animated campus and silent academic buildings on Wednesday. Striking faculty members were posted at various entrances throughout campus.
The faculty went on strike after APSCUF and PASSHE failed to agree on a contract after five days of negotiations.
Marieh Hench and Carolina Fatatch, both senior fine arts majors with photo concentrations, walked campus holding signs that said, ‘This girl would rather be in class.’”
Both Hench and Fatatch opted to not attend classes in order to represent the fair treatment of both faculty and students. “We all have the right to be taught by our professors, not some random person,” said Hench.
KU senior professional writing student Ashley Nave said, “I am a student supporting this strike because if they’re being underrated, then I am being underrated as well.”
Nave was among a group of students that marched around campus and rallied for professors. She said, “And if you’re the person who is in a neutral party, that means you side with the opposing force. Proper education or no participation.”
The crowd of students met at APSCUF headquarters, located at 445 Normal Ave., to rally and make signs before taking their march. Students paraded throughout the north and south sides of campus with signs in hand, chanting, “Proper education or no participation.”
Maryann Nowlan, a junior special education major, was among the students that gathered at the APSCUF headquarters early Wednesday. Maryann said she is willing to opt out of class for as long as it takes for professors to receive fair treatment.
“People have this misconception that faculty is looking out for their own paycheck, but if you look into it, they’re really looking out for their students,” she said. Nowlan sides with the faculty because as an education major, she understands that their primary mission is for the students.
Other students made the decision to attend classes, either because their professors conducted class despite the strike or because students were concerned about how their attendance would affect them after the strike.
The student government board has taken a neutral stance on the strike. SGB put out a fact sheet to answer common questions.
Tessa Boppel Didyoung, KU student and Student Government Board member, said that
the decision to attend classes lies with each individual, but that she has made the decision to attend her classes.
According to Boppeldidyoung, SGB is promoting the hash tag #SettlefortheStudents. They understand that the faculty have been working for an extended period of time without contract, but feel that APSCUF and PASSHE should settle for the good of their students.
“All of the PASSHE student government boards decided to take a neutral stance on it because we are for the students. We understand the faculty’s stand on it, we understand what’s going on but we are for the students,” said Boppel Didyoung. “Students need to go to class and students are worried about graduating. Yes, everyone wants a day off for a day, we’re students. But the majority of us are here, we’re paying for our education and we want to go to class.”