Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Strike update: Day 01 – Update 01

9:30 this morning, WUFA began rallying around the University ofWindsor campus. Leading the charge is Dr. Tom Dilworth (left) and Dr. Stephen Pender (right).

The Strike
Most of the signs are of general manufacture, but some have been customized calling for Neil Gold’s resignation. Gold is the Provost and VP Academic. He’s also a professor in the faculty of law.

Dr. Stephen Pender from the Humanities Research Group and the department of English, Language, Literature & Creative Writing said that they have been preparing for the strike – organizing all the details of how they’re planning on striking – last week.

He was counting how many people were in the rally, and me talking to him was f-ing up his count. He was guessing there could be about 600 people demonstrating. I can back him up, agreeing that there is likely between 500 and 600 people. But I’m no crowd estimator.

Hundreds of professors, librarians and supporters took to the streets this morning (this street being Huron Line). Cars weren't having too much trouble getting through, and many were honking in support.

Their rally cries didn’t quite have their timing right to start. But they should be up and running by now. For all their PhD.s, “What do we want?”
A contract.
“When do we want it?”
Isn’t all that original. But they don’t seem to be trying to get creative about this, either. They’re organized and unified, which is probably the best message a striking body can make.

There have been many cab drivers cruising by honking their support and waving out the windows.

WUFA appears to have set up their home base across the street from Chrysler Tower. There’s a large blue and white tent set up behind one of the homes on Sunset.

There’s one guy with an accordion, and while he isn’t really playing it, you can hear it sometimes as the march moves along.

He must be planning on playing that accordion.

When you pull up today – if you come in – you’ll find strikers and supporters outside of the common parking lots around campus. They don’t seem to be interfering with anyone trying to enter.

No apparent organized student support
It doesn’t appear to be any students supporting anything as of 9:30 this morning.

Save $5
The CAW lot, the main one by the Assumption Church, is still charging for parking. Don’t park there, you can park ANYWHERE else, and it won’t cost you $5.

[UPDATE: Regarding this comment on your BLOG yesterday:
"The CAW lot, the main one by the Assumption Church, is still charging for parking. Don’t park there, you can park ANYWHERE else, and it won’t cost you $5."
This lot is owned and operated by Assumption Church, and this lot has a staff that relies on the income they make working in this parking lot. If the Church were to keep the lots open and free during this strike, the staff who rely on the income would not be paid, and that would not be fair to the staff. Many people have chosen to pay to park in this lot regardless of the strike, and the lot continues to operate as business as usual
- John Hansor

Yesterday the tables for club days were out early – but there are none today. And the bike racks are totally empty, too. There are very few students around, I overheard some that were unsure whether their labs were open or not. [UPDATE: 11:34 a.m. Tables are out, turnout is low]

Labs are not open, everything is cancelled.
The lousy part for that student in particular, was they were still trying to get signed into their lab – a struggle that all students end up going through by the end of their career as a student. She’ll have to wait till after the strike – and who knows what kind of sympathy the teachers will have when it comes to overloading their classrooms and labs by the end of this strike.

Are there students on campus today?

Is there a line at Tim Horton's?
Yes, but not half of what you'd expect.

Windsor execs
Calmly passing across campus, University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman (left), Stephen Willetts (right) are on their way back to Chrysler Tower, narrowly missing the first phase of WUFA's demostrations.

The bosses at the university have remained tight-lipped regarding the University of Windsor’s stance or arguments in all of this. They haven’t talked to us at The Lance, and poor Hannah our news editor has felt awful about it, too. She may be relieved to know that they haven't shared much with the Star or any radio networks, either.

I witnessed three execs, Stephen Willets, Alan Wildeman and Sandra Aversa, coming out of Memorial Hall as I was crossing campus to cut the rally off at the head. They hadn’t seen the rally in full force, I don’t think. They were heading back to Chrysler Tower, probably back to their offices.

They caught me off guard. I’m lucky to have even caught a picture of them. I was undecided as to whether or not to start asking them questions about negotiations – and they were gone by the time I figured I should have.

The grounds crew appear to be picking up trash (a garbage truck was hauling trash from the CAW parking lot), and saw a couple guys raking – so grounds keeping appear to be still at work.

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Anonymous the paper cut said...

There has been a lot of student involvement in the strike, as far as I have heard. Emily Wunder, a fourth-year English student, was setting up a student rally at 9 am this morning, as well as meeting at the Kerr house for a march at 2 pm. Check it out!

I don't know about the numbers who will show up, but there is interest.

1:48 PM

Anonymous MeIr said...

I am from CS and I have not seen any profs. from department. Makes me wonder... and wtf students doing on strike? Students suppose to be against this kind of stuff... after all they pay to UoW...

4:05 PM


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