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The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

We've got you covered

The Columbia Chronicle

Editorial: Students should focus on returning, passing their classes

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File Photo

Just before Thanksgiving break, the college began reassigning classes taught by striking part-time faculty members.

Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David told students that they would need to return to class and would be responsible for any assigned work starting this week.

Whether this is fair or not, the school had few choices if students were going to be able to finish the semester.

It was unlikely a deal would be reached because the college and union have been in stalemate for weeks. Tuition refunds were not economically feasible as it would be difficult to recover financially, and the college already is trying to close a $20 million revenue gap.

It also would have meant that students wouldn’t get the credits they needed. Even if they got their money back, they still would need to complete the necessary coursework to earn their degrees. That would have delayed students from graduating on time.

The only option that benefits students was to keep the semester alive.

We understand for the union to accomplish its goals, it needs to cause instability. It already had accomplished that. Hundreds of classes a day have been canceled since the strike started on Oct. 30, and while keeping those classrooms empty might have benefited the Columbia Faculty Union in its negotiations, it would not have benefited students.

Students have already taken the brunt of the strike’s consequences.

They have attempted to create their own student-led protests and boycotts with varying success. Most of the classes targeted for boycotts were taught by full-time teachers whose classes continued to run during the strike. Now, students are questioning whether they should go to class or do their classwork in cases where part-time faculty have been replaced with full-time faculty or other professionals.

Students can choose not to return, but they will forfeit the tuition and the credits. At the end of the day, when the strike is settled, they will not get anything in exchange for their loyalty.

Students need to evaluate what their grade means to them. With a pass/fail option being offered, students should take the opportunity to try to pass their courses. We acknowledge that student stress has led to grades decreasing, and there is still much uncertainty about grading from class to class.

We also understand students want their part-time faculty to come back and want to support them. Especially, many students studying film, acting, and dance will go into industries after graduation and join professional unions. While this is difficult, as a student, there isn’t much we can do at this point.

Students should prioritize themselves and do what’s best for them academically. This means finishing the semester strong.

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