More than 95 per cent of classes are continuing at McMaster


As the strike by support staff continues, students are wondering about the status of their classes.

“The University has committed itself to doing everything possible to preserve a stable and supportive environment for students during this job action,” says Mary Keyes, associate vice-president student affairs. “While each student must choose how to best handle these situations, it is strongly recommended that classes and term tests not be missed. Students should make whatever alternate arrangements possible to attend their classes.”

Based on reports from Faculties and students, more than 95 per cent of classes are continuing. One department, labour studies, has cancelled courses and tutorials, but is making alternate arrangements. To date the only labs that have been cancelled are chemistry and cell biology (2B3).

“Fewer than 50 of the more than 2,000 undergraduate lectures and labs scheduled for this term have been cancelled this week,” says Fred Hall, associate vice-president academic.

Hall says students who choose not to attend classes or write tests during the strike should not presume that requests for relief or special consideration for classes missed would be granted. “Ultimately, it is up to each course instructor to determine what, if any, accommodations can be made for students who miss classes and term tests. Normally, when such consideration is made, it is for reasons of a medical or compassionate nature which are judged to be outside of the students' control.”

Students are expected to be on time for in-class tests and are advised to allow themselves extra time to arrive on campus. Alternate travel arrangements such as carpooling and travelling by bus are encouraged. Every McMaster undergraduate has a bus pass and should consider using it to get onto campus.

Under a joint agreement between the University and the McMaster University Faculty Association, faculty have the right not to cross the picket line of striking or locked out employees. In cases where a faculty members chooses to do this and has normal scheduled duties, the faculty member must either:

7 make other arrangements for carrying out the scheduled duties and these arrangements must be approved by the appropriate chair/director; or

7 the faculty member must advise his/her chair as early as reasonably possible that he/she will not be available for scheduled duties. (For each day on which this occurs, the faculty member will be deemed to have sought and been granted a one-day leave without pay)

Hall says the University is monitoring, on a daily basis, the status of classes and following up on reports from dean, chairs and students of any rumoured cancellations and or of alternate arrangements that are being made.

Bryce Rudyk, vice-president education for the McMaster Students Union, says the organization is currently very little from students right now about the academic implications of the strike.

He expects this will change if the strike continues and as students get closer to final exams. “But if you want to talk about parking we're hearing lots about that(issue).”

Rudyk says students are concerned about the loss of library and study space due to reduced library hours.