The strike that is currently going on is hard on everyone, particularly the students. However, this is certainly not the first time York has gone on strike so below you’ll find the valuable wisdom of students who have been through York strikes in the past and learned some lessons the hard way!
1. Stay on top of your work!
Your classes may be cancelled, but that by no means that you should treat this as a vacation! It is really easy to go into “summer mode” and give yourself a break from school but then realize, a week and a half later, that you’ve done no school work! So do yourself a favour – keep on top of your work so you’re not overwhelmed when the strike ends!
2. It is YOUR choice to cross or not cross the picket line
Both sides have been putting a lot of pressure on each other to switch alliances but the truth is that everyone should do what is right for them. One of the trickier things of some of the classes still running is that students then have to decide if they’re going to stick to their moral values and not cross the picket line or if they’re going to be a bit more realistic and attend class if it is happening. Whatever you choose to do, it should be your decision and no one else’s!
3. You don’t need to hand anything in during the strike – whether your class is cancelled or not
The Senate has set out a set of rules that govern how academics are going to be addressed during the strike. One of those rules is that, even if your class is still running, you are under no obligation to turn in any piece of work (even if you can submit it online) or write any kind of exam. However, be aware – if you decide not to write a midterm that has not been cancelled, your final is most likely going to be worth a huge percentage of your mark!
4. If your class is still running, go!
For those of you whose classes have not been cancelled, count yourself lucky! For the people whose classes have been cancelled, they are still required to keep on top of their material (as their professor is required to make all material accessible online). However, having an actual time that is set aside to work on a class is extremely helpful in ensuring that you don’t fall behind. Furthermore, there is bound to be some information that the prof will communicate verbally and not include in their notes – that doesn’t mean it won’t be tested on the final exam, though!
5. Don’t fall into the trap of relying on online notes!
As stated earlier, the Senate has mandated that the professors of all classes, whether cancelled or not, are required to put all class notes online so students who have decided not to cross the picket line can still keep up with the material. However, professors’ notes aren’t necessarily all that clear; especially when they are not accompanied by the analogies or examples that they often present when teaching the material! Furthermore, any science-based or math-based classes are notoriously difficult to self-teach, so think carefully about using online access to notes as an excuse not to go to class. You may end up slapping your forehead with regret as you desperately try to understand what your prof’s notes mean!
There is obviously a consensus that strikes are incredibly stressful. However, if you follow these tips and try to stay positive, hopefully you’ll make it through the strike with a good mark and a good understanding of the material in all your courses!