P.E.I. students at Mount Allison University 'relieved' to be returning to class

P.E.I. students at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., are looking forward to hitting the books once again.

Tentative agreements in a six-day strike by professors and librarians were announced on Saturday.

Both the university and the faculty association announced the developments and classes and academic programming are scheduled to resume on Monday.

"A lot of us were concerned that if the strike did go longer that we would find ourselves coming back to quite a bit of work and not really knowing where we would find the time to fit in all of that additional work," said Hayley Wood, a fourth-year Mount Allison student from Richmond, P.E.I.

"I am quite a bit relieved to know that I will be returning to classes on Monday."

Emily Shaw, a third-year fine arts student on scholarship, said she has mixed feelings.

While she's pleased that classes are resuming, she said she's worried over the financial impact the strike will have on others.

"Most people are losing thousands of dollars because of this and are likely going to be affected in terms of their courses and their grades," said Shaw, from Stratford, P.E.I. 

Hayley Wood/submitted

Wood said she's eager to return to classes and see her professors again. 

"I've had so many wonderful, wonderful professors and obviously if there are resources that they felt that they are lacking that often transfers into the quality of education that students receive," she said.

"Not just myself, but I know that many other students were very much in solidarity."

Striking staff cited a decrease in the number of full-time instructors and the precarious position of part-time instructors as points of contention.

Emily Shaw/submitted

In response, the university said it has one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the country and that calling part-time positions insecure is not accurate.

Wood agrees that the student-teacher ratios are a positive, but knowing that there has been a rise in part-time and contract work for faculty troubles her.

"The whole strike situation at Mount Allison has definitely opened my eyes to the concept that, yes, this does happen in certain workforces and it's something that could definitely happen to me."

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