Wright State University students were given the opportunity to learn about the contentious labor issue between faculty members of AAUP-WSU and the administration that could develop into a strike Tuesday.
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Nearly 100 students came to the Student Union Apollo Room for a town hall-style, students-only forum presented by student government. No faculty, administration, staff or the general public was invited.
“As we approach what looks like a possible strike, we wanted to provide students with a way to hear factual information from other students ... and not worry about it being biased,” said Adrian Williams, student body vice president who is studying neuroscience.
Student government has put pressure on both sides in an effort to get them to put pride and politics aside to make sure students needs are being put first and their concerns are being met, he said.
“I want to make sure that students are getting what they pay for when they come here and that they are taken care of and put first,” Williams said.
Doug Benedict, a senior political science major who expects to graduate in May, said he appreciated the forum and called it productive, but said he feels there is confusion on campus because information has been lacking.
The mood of students on campus is split, he said. “Some are very concerned, some have taken up arms with the faculty.” Benedict said he is among the very concerned.
“From what I have been told ... there will be no issue regarding my degree,” said Benedict, noting he receives financial aid. He said he has been told that as long as he shows up for class and attendance is taken, he should have no issue with financial aid.
For students who did not attend, Williams said the meeting was live-streamed and is being made available, along with a list of frequently asked questions.
Student government also is offering an open email line for students who have questions, he said.
Wright State University will remain open and continue to hold classes even if some faculty members in the American Association of University Professors-WSU chapter choose to strike, which could begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 22, university officials said in a statement released Wednesday.
On the issue of financial aid, the university said “Actions taken by the faculty do not change the federal reporting requirements associated with federal aid.” Aid includes grants, scholarships, loans and work-study.
“As long as students continue to meet course expectations related to attendance and coursework, their financial aid will not be impacted. Students should understand that dropping, withdrawing, or unofficial withdraw due to never attending classes will result in a reassessment of financial aid through the Return of Title IV process,” university officials said.
Students should continue to attend class in accordance with their regular class schedule, Wright State officials said, noting “university contingency plans provide authority to the instructors who will covered classes during a strike. This authority extends to attendance, assignments, issuing quizzes and tests, as well as posting grades.”
WSU President Cheryl Schrader this week said the university will tap non-striking faculty and administrators to teach classes.
Schrader said she will go to the classroom herself.
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