Rallies continue as strike enters third week

Alycia Douglass
Rallies continue as strike enters third week
CUPE representative

CORNWALL, Ontario – The strike by college faculty is now in its third week, leaving many students concerned at the prospect of losing their semester.

Taking over 300,000 students out of class across Ontario colleges, local students have taken matters into their own hands.

Joanne-Marie Lauzon is in the Early Childhood Education program, and says that while the potential outcome is worrying for local students, international students will face more serious obstacles if the semester is lost.

“They’re scared because they are on student visas,” said Lauzon.

In response to a student rally taking place in Queen’s Park tomorrow, Lauzon reached out to fellow SLC Cornwall students to walk the picket line outside Jim McDonell’s office on Nov. 1.

As a mature student, Lauzon says that she and many of her peers have made tremendous sacrifices to return to school.

“I have a friend with little kids who quit her job to go back to school,” said Lauzon. “She wanted to improve her life and her children’s, and now she isn’t even able to go to school.”

Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College says that it’s important to remember that the decision to return to the bargaining table is made by a provincially-appointed mediator.

“The mediator does not propose solutions – the ideas for resolving the strike must come from either faculty or Colleges and at this point, the two parties have fundamental disagreements on matters of academic freedom and full-time faculty ratios,” wrote Vollebregt in his latest message. “When the mediator is of the view that one or both parties are ready to alter their position, bargaining will resume.”

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