Strike for IU South Bend students and faculty still a go
Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 31, 2013 17:03
A few months ago, news surfaced concerning a possible strike at all of the IU campuses to change some of the ways the university system operates. As of now, the core group of students at IU South Bend responsible for spreading the strike to this campus says the strike is still on.
According to James Robert, an IUSB student, the Indiana Industrial Workers of the World and South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice have "officially and unanimously decided to endorse the strike planned for IU campuses statewide on April 11 and 12."
Robert says that aim of the strike is to hopefully satisfy grievances within the IU school system that students and faculty might have.
On the Bloomington campus, students would like to see tuition reduced and fees eliminated. The list also includes a demand to end the wage freeze, a demand for the university to honor its promise to double African-American enrollment and a demand to abolish HB1402 and SB590, which affects minority students.
"This list is aimed precisely at Indiana state lawmakers who are cutting educational spending and jeopardizing the state's future by deterring students away from the state. It is aimed at the Board of Trustees and [IU President] Michael McRobbie, who have pushed through unwanted mergers between different schools, given raises in top administrative pay, layoffs for staff and initiated tuition hikes and housing increases," said Robert.
Robert encourages all students, staff and faculty with concerns about these issues to strike April 11 and 12.
"In solidarity with our fellow students and workers at IU Bloomington, I would personally like to encourage all students and staff to either call in sick to work, cancel class or simply not show up the days of the strike," he said.
Strikes are not a new idea—disgruntled students and employees have held strikes for many reasons at many organizations through the years. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t. Robert thinks this one will make a difference if people participate.
"To those that say nothing will be done or that this is ineffective, I would like to refer them to the recent activism by Quebec students resulting in the cancelling of tuition hikes and the continuation of the federal government's support of public universities," said Robert.
Other IU students agree that action needs to be taken.
A letter to the editor in the Indiana Daily Student somewhat echoes what Robert said about the strike.
"Let's help McRobbie finally get a good night's sleep and make sure that this strike shakes the university system to its very core and creates something new and progressive that accounts for the needs of all of us involved in this great quest for higher education," said Justinian Dispenza, the author of the letter to the editor.
According to Robert, some students at IUSB are definitely planning on striking.
Those interested in striking are encouraged by other strikers to skip class, call into work or cancel class in the case of faculty.