14, 2000, Gazette)
For students, stress levels usually rise and reach a crescendo
during exam time. Unfortunately, this semester there is a special
amendment to this trend. The post-strike confusion affects many
students still. To this, some would merely say bah humbug.
After all, the strike was not that long. Perhaps the length of
the strike is not the real issue where students are concerned.
More important is the loss of momentum due to the overall disruption
in the flow of studies. During the strike, students were not
sure whether the semester would continue or not. From a students
perspective, this waste of the time and money has been unfair.
Some students will have lower marks than usual as a result of
the distraction. For those who have completed the semester without
having to drop a course, the management of post-strike schedules
has been a crash course in itself.
The support of those who have been concerned with academic difficulties
caused by the interruption of the term is surely appreciated.
There has been the shuffling of deadlines, causing both relief
and stress for a lot of students. As a result of later dates,
many assignments were handed in closer to exam time than usual.
Unfortunately, in some cases, students simply were not able to
receive all term grades before the final exam. Having to guess
at term averages as one enters into final exams is problematic.
Usually it is useful to know what is required in order to achieve
the standard that one has set for oneself.
Naturally the unexpected time out of class was valuable, and
even great fun for some. Knowing that lectures were cancelled,
who could refuse the opportunity to water forgotten plants and
take care of other important business?
Moreover, if students were assured that the semester was actually
going to resume, the extra study time would have been welcomed.
Ignoring this state of uncertainty, some students may have worked
at a normal pace, relying on developed time management skills.
Realistically, is it fair to expect most students to respond
well when put out of school with no instruction? Students pay
for consecutive lectures as a way of learning with the aid of
discipline. The drop date for classes was pushed ahead to Dec.
5 and some students took bittersweet advantage of
Courses could be dropped without academic prejudice.
This is a break for students who had to make use
of it, and an excuse for students who would impulsively lop off
part of their workload. So was it such a great idea to lift the
date in December was chosen with the intention that students
would have acquired mid-term marks by then, and would know whether
or not a quick getaway was required. The line up at the registrars
office was long on the fifth of December. A lot of students stood
waiting with drop forms in hand, here there and everywhere. Someone
was actually overheard saying to the receptionist, Okay,
so I want to drop all of my courses, am I supposed to tell that
to you or ... ? To have to take a course over again is
unfortunate, repeating the whole semester is disastrous.
The politics of the strike were interesting and disrespect is
not the aim of this rant. From my point of view, the needs of
students were improperly handled, which rendered the students
the victims of the strike, instead of just innocent bystanders.
It is somewhat ironic that students have ended up losing money
in this situation. After all, technically speaking, the university
had a contract with the students to provide a full term of education.
This is what students paid for.
Thankfully tis the season to be merry, and some good Christmas
cheer will certainly come in handy. After all, the New Year brings
with it a brand new semester.
note: The university is developing a policy to address tuition
for courses dropped in the wake of the recent faculty strike.