Students shouldn’t get refunds for faculty strikes

Why university doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee

MAC14_UNISTRIKE_POST01In the wake of two faculty strikes at universities in New Brunswick, students have been making a simple demand: we want our money back. Universities, as you might imagine, are not always eager to oblige. In fact, shortly after Mount Allison University students went on record demanding that they be refunded part of their tuition to compensate for the time to lost to a faculty strike, the university announced that they weren’t repaying anyone. Administrators at the UNB were somewhat more accommodating, providing their students with rebates to compensate them for their trouble.

These, one assumes, will not be the last university strikes in Canada, so the larger question remains: should universities always refund their students for missed time?

The case for such refunds is straightforward. After all, tuition fees are paid with the expectation of a certain number of weeks of instruction. If all those weeks are not provided, some of that money, it seems to follow, ought to be refunded. But as is so often the case, the simple case is not just simple, but simplistic. Tuition rebates are illogical and, worse, misrepresent the nature of university learning.

For one thing, universities that experience substantial strikes typically lengthen the term by cancelling reading breaks and adding additional days. So the number of classes actually lost is usually not excessive. And missing days here and there are common in any case. If the UNB repays students for instruction lost to a strike, shouldn’t they also refund students for days lost to bad weather?

Indeed, since taxpayers in most provinces pay roughly half of the cost of educating university students, shouldn’t students refund the government some of that money if they fail to show up for class?

The larger issue though is that tuition fees do not simply pay for a certain number of class hours. Tuition fees entitle a student to take courses for credit, and to a whole range of academic services in addition to instruction per se, and many of those services are still available during a strike. Students are typically allowed to come on to campus, and to use the library, computer labs, and other facilities. Moreover, though classes are not meeting, there is no reason for students to stop being students. They can still do their readings, work on assignments, and do any number of tasks assigned before the strike occurred.

Certainly a long strike can cause students anxiety and an extended term can be inconvenient. And universities should take steps to show their students that they regret the extra difficulties created. Still, university education is not a commodity to be traded. And paying tuition is not like buying cleaning products. There’s no money-back guarantee.

Todd Pettigrew is an associate professor of English at Cape Breton University.




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Students shouldn’t get refunds for faculty strikes

  1. “…paying tuition is not like buying cleaning products.” True; it is more like a contract for provision of services. We agree to provide you with X during Y timeframe. So a faculty strike is in essence a breach of contract. True, there is more to the university experience than a talking head at the front of the class. But the loss of that talking head, and the stress and anxiety that undoubtedly diminishes the students’ ability to focus on the other aspects – not to mention the potential financial losses if the semester has to be lengthened (food and housing plus losses due to later start in summer jobs) – are genuine reductions of service, and thus those who contracted for those services in good faith ought to be compensated accordingly.

    • Agree!

  2. Many schools charge tuition per course, not per semester. This would certainly seem to indicate that as far as the University is concerned (in those cases), the student’s tuition is primarily treated as compensation for instructional time. If the “additional academic services” offered are available in the same proportion to students who pay tuition for a full course load as those who pay for a reduced one, it stands to reason that tuition is not, in practice, paying for those services.

    I would think that certainly for an extended strike (more than a month, for example), students are well within their rights to demand a refund.

  3. Actually, Mount Allison retained reading break and did not extend the semester more than three days. Students lost 12 instructional days. This IS substantial. Students have every right to be dissatisfied. Students haven’t come just for credits, they have come to learn the content of their courses.

  4. Stopped reading after “shouldn’t they also refund students for days lost to bad weather?”

    That’s a horrible argument. Bad weather is expected and happens from time to time. It is also out of the faculty/administrations control. A strike, however, is not out of their control and students had to suffer because of the result of something that could have been controlled, unlike the weather. At Mount Allison a total of 12 instructional days were lost (only 3 lost days were made up at the end of the term).

  5. ” Tuition rebates are illogical and, worse, misrepresent the nature of university learning.” How so exactly?

    “… universities that experience substantial strikes typically lengthen the term by cancelling reading breaks and adding additional days. So the number of classes actually lost is usually not excessive.” First off, students pay to be educated in classrooms for X amount of time. Since students semesters was not extended by any cancelation of a reading break. They lost 12 days of classes. For some this may not seem like a lot however, most students have to spend 3hours every week in approx. 5 courses (give or take), not to mention additional lab courses. Students essentially spend 15-16 hours a week in classrooms. That is, approx. 15-16 hours a week spend being thought course material.

    ” …since taxpayers in most provinces pay roughly half of the cost of educating university students, shouldn’t students refund the government some of that money if they fail to show up for class?” Taxpayers may pay “half” of the cost of educating university students, however, taxpayers are not the one’s paying for the extra/additional cost of housing (rent), food, loss summer jobs, etc. Not to mention, taxpayers are not the ones suffering from severe anxiety.

    “Moreover, though classes are not meeting, there is no reason for students to stop being students. They can still do their readings, work on assignments, and do any number of tasks assigned before the strike occurred.” True! BUT, how are students expected to understand material that is not thought to them? Anyone can read a book however, professors encourage students to think critically and apply the material. Moreover, a student cannot complete a paper or an assignment if they are not given the proper instructions to do so… it’s not like professors had office hours during the strike. University students pay large amounts of money to be thought not teach themselves! If that were the case then there would be no use for professors in general! Right professor Pettigrew?

    “Certainly a long strike can cause students anxiety and an extended term can be inconvenient.” You think so eh? “universities should take steps to show their students that they regret the extra difficulties created.” Yes, they should… however none of their so called steps have been helpful to Mount Allison students.

    “And paying tuition is not like buying cleaning products. There’s no money-back guarantee.” Agreed it is not. Yet, when you go to a store and buy something worth $15 and you give the cashier $20 you expect to receive some change. Mount Allison students are not receiving what is owed to them. Students, have essentially been robbed of our education and money. Also, international students at Mount Allison University have to pay double the tuition of Canadian students which over 15 thousand dollars…

    #1 University I think not.

  6. Todd Pettigrew, you have disastrously misrepresented “the case for such refunds”–at least the case that Mount Allison students put forth as we continue to challenge our administration’s position on a tuition rebate. We do not simply deserve reimbursement because we paid for a service in full and only received a portion. At Mount A, we are asking for the university’s net savings from not paying faculty wages over the strike to be used to reimburse students. Don’t belittle us by framing this as an ignorant and illogical demand akin to asking for money for snow days. Snow days do not produce million dollar surpluses.

    I agree with you that total class days lost is a more meaningful measure than the duration of the strike, but your assertion that the number of class days lost is usually not excessive due to semester extensions does not in any way apply to Mount Allison’s situation. Despite the changes made to the semester following a three-week strike, we are still missing out on 12 class days.

    And yes, we know that in addition to paying our professors, tuition covers other services that continued throughout the strike. That’s why despite having missed a fifth of our term, we are only asking for a few hundred dollars. As I mentioned earlier, and as you unfairly neglected, this request is based on the money that was budgeted to pay professors (largely to teach us) yet was not used as such due to the strike action.

    Lastly your condescending assertion that students needn’t stop being students is demeaning. We didn’t stop being students, we stopped being taught. The classes we had paid for stopped happening and we figure that independent study should not cost the same as time with instructors.

    Todd Petigrew, your patronizing overview has framed students and their case as simplistic, illogical, lazy, and naive. As students, we understand the implications of what we are asking for. Unlike yourself, we understand the context in which this request is being made; and despite your misrepresentation of our cause, we have a lot of really really good arguments to prove you wrong.

  7. This entire article is rather nonsensical. I personally attend Mount Allison University. What we asked for, in terms of a refund, was just the amount of money that would have been paid to the professors if they had been in the classroom teaching us. Nothing more, nothing less. Talking about “additional services” and that stuff becomes irrelevant if that isn’t being asked for, and it wasn’t. We students are paying for a service. If we opt not to go to class, we are wasting money on a service we aren’t using, but that is our choice as a customer. If any other business provided less service to a customer, without making any sort of recompense, they’d go out of business, or certainly see a downturn. End of story. Why, then, are students who are trying to get a good education not treated with the same amount of respect? Furthermore, just to make this clear, we lost 15 days, and only got 3 back. I would say 13 days of education, in a semester where exams are finished in less than 4 months, actually qualifies as “excessive”. We students are trying to learn, and are paying the university to teach us. I think that lack of teaching should correspond with a decrease in fee. While the author of this article talks about simplification, I would just point out that all strikes are not the same, but if you are going to use specific examples, MAKE YOU YOU CHECK YOUR FACTS FIRST.

    tl,dr: Students just asked to be compensated what they actually missed, in cases where they actually missed stuff, and the university said no. That isn’t simplification, it just happens to be that simple.

  8. This seems like it was written by a Grade 11 law student who was trying to make a case for a side they didn’t agree on. All of these points seem to miss the point and are very arbitrary.
    Maclean’s, with articles like this, your reputation doesn’t seem to emulate the quality of writing.

  9. I do not believe that the person who wrote this article knows what occured during MTA’s strike. Three weeks of classes were lost and MTA only added on two extra days. During those three weeks many students did not have much work to do as the strike was at the beginning of the semester and many assignments were not explained or given out. Therefore after the strike everyone had an abundance of work to do. This added a lot of stress on students to have everything completed and learned in a very short period of time. We pay to be instructed by professors not to teach ourselves.

  10. Errbady Luh Errbady

  11. Mr. Pettigrew’s article, dripping with condescension, unfortunately reinforces a sad stereotype of academics: arrogant, haughty and out of touch.

    The students at Mount Allison have never asked for a “money back guarantee”. They are seeking partial compensation for a paid service that was contracted for and not delivered – through no fault of the students.

    Rather than dissect Mr. Pettigrew’s facile arguments (I’m sure some of his freshmen students could do so admirably), perhaps he might better appreciate one or more analogies.

    No doubt Mr. Pettigrew subscribes to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and pays a fee for a term of service. If the ISP’s service drops for a a few minutes or a few hours – no big deal. But if the service disappears for three weeks due to a strike? I suspect Mr. Pettigrew would be clamoring for a rebate.

    According to his argument though, he wouldn’t deserve one since the ISP still has network infrastructure it must service and non-striking workers to pay. As for loss of service to Mr. Pettigrew? Well, he can still access the Internet from work or from his phone, so really it’s only a minor inconvenience, right?

    Wrong. Mount Allison students were deprived a service they contracted from the university in the same way that we all pay fees for a wide range of services from a variety of providers. Any substantial interruption in a service merits a rebate. And academia is no different. Fair is fair.

  12. Woah…are you serious here?

    1. As mentioned, MTA did not cancel reading week and only extended the term by three days. We have missed a total of 12 class days. I take six classes, by the way.

    2. “There is no reason for students to stop being students…”
    Are you serious? As a student who actually experienced the strike, do you know how hard it is to keep up with coursework when you aren’t being taught it? Profs didn’t even answer emails. I’m a music minor and the concepts we learn are complicated. If we don’t get a good explanation, examples, ect. for classes such as theory, how are we supposed to even complete the assignments? Teach it to ourselves? What’s the difference to that then not being in a class at all? Money, is what, and if we are paying for instruction time and aren’t receiving a huge chunk, we deserve some of our money back.

    By the way, i think just the sheer stress of this semester (in combination with our missed class days) should warrant a refund anyway. Profs have been skipping ahead in the syllabus, cancelling classes due to their OWN stress reasons, and skimming over things to fit everything in. Maybe I can take my 800 bucks rebate and spend it on some psychiatrist appointments which i will probably end up needing by the end of this horrendous exam period.

  13. Probably the most stupid/ignorant thing I’ve ever read. Spoken like someone who truly has a comfortable income and forgets the struggles students have to go through. First of all most weather strikes go up to a week at most second of all some strikes went past three weeks which is almost a month so money should be compensated for missed classes . You’re right it is inconvenient for students to extend their stay in school due to how professors who make a comfortable high income have some so called “issues” with their work should not be taken out on students. So basically you’re saying students should be thrown whatever problem and waste their money and go to school longer just because the staff think it’s necessary to go on strike? Your argument is invalid and lacks in common sense and empathy towards students who give people like you a job. So I think with all the money students give per year on tuition the least a university can do is refund some money due to missed classes.

  14. After reading this article I began to wonder if Mount Allison’s computer labs, facilities and libraries are an appropriate and equal replacement to learning inside a university class. This seems to be what Todd Pettigrew was implying. I then ask myself why people are not crowding our facilities why are they not scouring through our extensive collection of literary capital in the R.P Bell Library. It would seem that they do not place such high value on our resources which Todd equates to be worth even more then we already pay! According to this article our taxpayers generous endowment covers roughly double our twenty-thousand dollar school related expenses. Forty thousand dollars per student surely simplistically should cover the cost to at least educate all students effectively and efficiently. However during the strike teachers nor students could access online resources or assignments. Labs and assignments where postponed along with any additional work was unassignable until the strike concluded. Furthermore many where eventually removed from the term upon the strikes termination. The one facility that was more commonly used during the three weeks was the student pub. Even though many students returned home during the strike the pub seemed to be bustling. This would probably be due to our student pub promoting strike parties and underage wet dry events. Excluding the wet tap of Gracies Pub, which if anyone was interested in visiting resides inside the MTA student center, the absence of our fellow scholars was strongly felt by any student who had to endure the major cutbacks that Jennings Meal Hall suffered. Students also withstood the monotony of saying goodbye to another group of students everyday and our dampened spirits where not assured by the incredible lack of communication between any faculty, be it the administration or MAFA. The example set by both conglomerates highlights the lack of over all order and organization that goes into MTA and universities alike. As stated previously students deserve effective and efficient education however there are many aspects of modern day universities that seem to be more profitable then resourceful, more business like then scholary. I am no expert according to any university however I question the benefit of not allowing classes to be videotaped. Or the practicality of paying for clickers that a whole class needs to pay for every semester costing a thirty dollar subscription fee to access this online clicker program that allows teachers to record attendance and track the overall comprehension of a class. Could we not design a website that accomplishes the same task cost effectively seeing as we are home to many computer science doctorates. In the public school system we used to hold up pieces of papers that represented multiple choice answers expressed in four different colors. Furthermore I question why it is beneficial for students to drop classes part way through a semester instead learning what can be learnt and failing with dignity without fear of the terrible repercussions your G.P.A would face. In addition Mount Allison unique policy that every student pay for six courses even though you are suggested to take five and amazingly in some cases related to academic probation you are not even permitted to take the sixth course. Does it benefit students to overload with six different courses? Have they taken economics and now live in fear of missing out on the opportunity cost of the sixth class? Additionally are their safeguards that protect and prevent converging class tests and assignments for the majority of students over all of our different disciplines? I myself do not claim to be an expert on educational organization but it seems are class schedules are all in a system it is just a matter of attaching theses schedules in excel sheet and cross-referencing students deadlines. I urge students to ask these questions and I eagerly await an awnser from odd Pettigrew the great associate professor of English at Cape Breton University. However it would seem I have diverged from my original point and I am assured a list of questions could become quite extensive. In conclusion our assignments where delayed and then cramped into what remained of our shortened semester. This caused stress, anxiety and a sharp raise in university dropouts. Stress in my opinion has no place in academia learning is supposed to be enjoyable and liberating however I feel like I gambled on an undergraduate diploma and the longer I stay here the bigger of a looser I become and the harder it is to stay at the table but the time I have already expended is as they say a sunk cost, nonrefundable. It does not help that I have suffered from food poisoning and a few stress related nosebleeds in this taxing exam period. I even fainted yesterday when I realized I would not be prepared for a class, this clearly did not help me study. I need to go to bed hopefully someone takes something from this response.

    • Is there any way this could be broken down into paragraphs for easier reading? There may be some good points within the gigantic block of text, but it’s difficult to read due to its current format.

      • After copying the response and breaking it up into paragraphs:

        After reading this article I began to wonder if Mount Allison’s computer labs, facilities and libraries are an appropriate and equal replacement to learning inside a university class. This seems to be what Todd Pettigrew was implying.

        I then ask myself why people are not crowding our facilities why are they not scouring through our extensive collection of literary capital in the R.P Bell Library. It would seem that they do not place such high value on our resources which Todd equates to be worth even more then we already pay!

        According to this article our taxpayers generous endowment covers roughly double our twenty-thousand dollar school related expenses. Forty thousand dollars per student surely simplistically should cover the cost to at least educate all students effectively and efficiently. However during the strike teachers nor students could access online resources or assignments. Labs and assignments where postponed along with any additional work was unassignable until the strike concluded. Furthermore many where eventually removed from the term upon the strikes termination.

        The one facility that was more commonly used during the three weeks was the student pub. Even though many students returned home during the strike the pub seemed to be bustling. This would probably be due to our student pub promoting strike parties and underage wet dry events. Excluding the wet tap of Gracies Pub, which if anyone was interested in visiting resides inside the MTA student center, the absence of our fellow scholars was strongly felt by any student who had to endure the major cutbacks that Jennings Meal Hall suffered.

        Students also withstood the monotony of saying goodbye to another group of students everyday and our dampened spirits where not assured by the incredible lack of communication between any faculty, be it the administration or MAFA. The example set by both conglomerates highlights the lack of over all order and organization that goes into MTA and universities alike.

        As stated previously students deserve effective and efficient education however there are many aspects of modern day universities that seem to be more profitable then resourceful, more business like then scholary.
        I am no expert according to any university however I question the benefit of not allowing classes to be videotaped. Or the practicality of paying for clickers that a whole class needs to pay for every semester costing a thirty dollar subscription fee to access this online clicker program that allows teachers to record attendance and track the overall comprehension of a class. Could we not design a website that accomplishes the same task cost effectively seeing as we are home to many computer science doctorates. In the public school system we used to hold up pieces of papers that represented multiple choice answers expressed in four different colors.

        Furthermore I question why it is beneficial for students to drop classes part way through a semester instead learning what can be learnt and failing with dignity without fear of the terrible repercussions your G.P.A would face.

        In addition Mount Allison unique policy that every student pay for six courses even though you are suggested to take five and amazingly in some cases related to academic probation you are not even permitted to take the sixth course. Does it benefit students to overload with six different courses? Have they taken economics and now live in fear of missing out on the opportunity cost of the sixth class? Additionally are their safeguards that protect and prevent converging class tests and assignments for the majority of students over all of our different disciplines? I myself do not claim to be an expert on educational organization but it seems are class schedules are all in a system it is just a matter of attaching theses schedules in excel sheet and cross-referencing students deadlines.

        I urge students to ask these questions and I eagerly await an awnser from odd Pettigrew the great associate professor of English at Cape Breton University.

        However it would seem I have diverged from my original point and I am assured a list of questions could become quite extensive.

        In conclusion our assignments where delayed and then cramped into what remained of our shortened semester. This caused stress, anxiety and a sharp raise in university dropouts. Stress in my opinion has no place in academia learning is supposed to be enjoyable and liberating however I feel like I gambled on an undergraduate diploma and the longer I stay here the bigger of a looser I become and the harder it is to stay at the table but the time I have already expended is as they say a sunk cost, nonrefundable. It does not help that I have suffered from food poisoning and a few stress related nosebleeds in this taxing exam period. I even fainted yesterday when I realized I would not be prepared for a class, this clearly did not help me study. I need to go to bed hopefully someone takes something from this response.

  15. This article is absurd. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would think most students go to university to be TAUGHT, not to sit around and teach themselves. If I could get a degree and learn everything without the help of a professor, that would be another story. I pay tuition fees at Mt.A assuming that the professors would be accessible, not only during class time, but also during office hours. I was not prepared to struggle through the semester and suffer at the hands of the university I paid almost $8000 to attend while they profit close to $1 000 000. The university has standards and expectations to meet, and by withholding money, compacting exam week, and diminishing the overall university learning experience for all students, they are not keeping up their end of student-business “contract” that we have all expected from them. To compare this situation to any of the above suggested is ridiculous and unfair. Students deserve more respect and understanding, as well as support from the general public. This year has not met our expectations, and we deserve to be reimbursed a portion of money for the portion of services we did not receive.

  16. THIS IS A REPOSTING OF ALEX THOMAS’S thoughtful and well-executed reply:
    Todd Pettigrew, you have disastrously misrepresented “the case for such refunds”–at least the case that Mount Allison students put forth as we continue to challenge our administration’s position on a tuition rebate. We do not simply deserve reimbursement because we paid for a service in full and only received a portion. At Mount A, we are asking for the university’s net savings from not paying faculty wages over the strike to be used to reimburse students. Don’t belittle us by framing this as an ignorant and illogical demand akin to asking for money for snow days. Snow days do not produce million dollar surpluses.

    I agree with you that total class days lost is a more meaningful measure than the duration of the strike, but your assertion that the number of class days lost is usually not excessive due to semester extensions does not in any way apply to Mount Allison’s situation. Despite the changes made to the semester following a three-week strike, we are still missing out on 12 class days.

    And yes, we know that in addition to paying our professors, tuition covers other services that continued throughout the strike. That’s why despite having missed a fifth of our term, we are only asking for a few hundred dollars. As I mentioned earlier, and as you unfairly neglected, this request is based on the money that was budgeted to pay professors (largely to teach us) yet was not used as such due to the strike action.

    Lastly your condescending assertion that students needn’t stop being students is demeaning. We didn’t stop being students, we stopped being taught. The classes we had paid for stopped happening and we figure that independent study should not cost the same as time with instructors.

    Todd Pettigrew, your patronizing overview has framed students and their case as simplistic, illogical, lazy, and naive. As students, we understand the implications of what we are asking for. Unlike yourself, we understand the context in which this request is being made; and despite your misrepresentation of our cause, we have a lot of really really good arguments to prove you wrong.

  17. As a Mount Allison student, I have a lot of issues with this article. First of all, the bad weather point that was made is completely irrelevant. The university has no control over the weather. They do, however, have some control on whether they go on strike or not. Also, as for the lengthening of the term, I do not know what the case was at UNB, but at Mount A , there was no cancellation of reading week. The term was lengthen by one week. The strike was three weeks long, leaving us with two weeks completely gone from our semester.

    Students should pay the government for not attending class. Ha, that’s a good one. The class doesn’t stop if one student does not show up. However, it does stop if the prof is outside picketing.

    No, students should not stop being students because of the strike. But as a first year student in university, I was overwhelmed and drowning in work and readings that I struggled to understand because I didn’t have the class lectures and profs to help me comprehend was I was “learning”.

    On campus, student are visibly stressed, tired and anxious. Though this is common at any university, it has increased so much with the strike. The number of courses dropped by students has increased so much this year. The strike still effects us though it has been a month since it ended.

    As for extra services being offered as penance for the strike, the library being open until 2 am isn’t exactly that helpful. Basically, Mount A’s “enhanced services” is keeping their buildings unlocked so that students can stress and freak out in a classroom rather then their dorm room.

    Though I do not regret my decision to come to Mount Allison, I am incredibly disappointed in what has gone on this year. University is stressful enough, this strike made it almost unbearable. Mount A claims to incoming students that “they are more then just a number”. But it has become clear that “a number” is exactly what I am.

    This article is idiotic and a joke. Shameful that it was even posted. Very disappointed, but as a student, I guess I should get use to that, right?

  18. Mount Allison locked the students out for a month, with no access to the schools facilities.. Then shove homework down the students throats pushing them until they break with no extra days or compensation… How’s this right?

  19. I failed to mention that by loosing so much time to the strike it prevented further closures even when it would have been prudent to cancel class due to harsh New Brunswick weather. Students and teachers from Moncton and Amherst put themselves in harms way by trying to keep up with the abaft semester. Like I said students and teachers workload after the strike was substantially heightened and this lead to less students tutoring and less out of class teacher student interactions. Condensing assignments meant more grading for teachers an also skewed the original dates for midterms meaning the material that customarily would be on midterms was also skewed meaning that our study resources where disadvantaged.

  20. I think you’re missing the key component here; The fact that yes, students do miss days here and there every once in awhile but you do not take into account that those days that students WILLINGLY miss are days that the students are held accountable for. The students realize they are wasting money by not showing up for a specific class but they have the option to do so. Speaking as a Mount Allison Student myself, I was not given the option to miss the classes and given the option to give my money up. I was not given a voice and to have your voice and money unwillingly striped of you is NOTHING like missing a snow day due to bad weather and as for your research, Mount Allison was given an extended amount of time of three days yet we missed a total of twelve… Now I am no math major but clearly that amount does not add up. Not to mention the unreasonable expectations given to the students post-strike in order for the professors to get all the necessary material taught before exam time.

  21. MacLean’s should be embarrassed that they are allowing a professor of a university to write this article on their website/magazine. This “teacher” is being paid by the university, of course he “believes” the non-sense he just wrote. Don’t kid yourself Mr. Pettigrew, universities are just a money grab, full of loose promises that tell graduates they will somehow, magically, obtain the perfect career if they get a degree. Trust me, going to university (unless it is an American Ivy League school), does not mean you’ll get a good paying job, therefore, yes universities should give students refunds if they lose class-time due to facility strikes.

    • you know what the funniest thing is, when the professor’s did a vote to see if the admin and the current president were fit for their role. He was the only one voting in favor of the admin/president.

  22. “…universities that experience substantial strikes typically lengthen the term by cancelling reading breaks and adding additional days…”

    Of course they do. But, the fact of the matter is, we only got three days added to the end of the semester for teaching, which were hardly used as well as they could have been. The Mount Allison Students are not asking for a large rebate. We are asking for a small amount to make up for the 12 class days we have missed out on. No, we did not stop being students. We continued to the best of our ability through the three weeks of class absence, and we believe we should get compensation for the in class time we missed.

  23. Absolutely ridiculous. Losing 12 days of instruction time is definitely substantial, and as students we know this best. I can see the teachers scrambling to try to fit everything into the diminished schedule, without the proper explanation. A teacher refused to answer my question because he was in such a rush to try to fit all the material. Not to mention the additional stress of having to hand in many assignments at the same time. Plus, many students won’t be performing to the best of their abilities this semester, and might have to spend even more money on re-taking the class!

    I truly don’t understand why we shouldn’t get a rebate for this. They have more money, and they know it; they want to use it towards “enhanced services”. We’re saying no! We want the money, because we don’t care about imaginary “enchanced services”! Students are already in debt, some even more so because of this strike. Keeping money from them is immoral, illogical and greedy!

    And hey, you’re right, there is no money-back guarantee. But there is a loss of faith, respect, and most importantly for the money hoarding university administration, a loss of future students. The impact of not giving students their rebate will extend beyond our complaining, I assure you.

  24. Costs for tuition/courses is generally a separate payment from additional services such as mail, gym services and other fees, so why should money not be given back from that tuition payments? If the semester is rescheduled to gain back all days originally paid for then no need for a rebate I agree. But what in the case where classes and days aren’t made up? Are you not paying for a service you are not getting? Just more curiosity things. That being said, what is being done with the money and general budgets should be readable and understandable. And through that students should also be able to know the truth about what is being done with the money and see that the money is used for what it is said.

  25. I am currently a MTA student, and without a doubt I am dissatisfied with the university administration, but also the student government. I feel cheated as a student, not only did all of my classes condense their material, but also cutting certain parts of the curriculum. I basically paid money to get a half ass education that I could have received else where. I’ve been here 3 years, and I still love MTA, but how can I not be upset when my whole life has been affected!?! And on top of everything that happened this year, they are increasing tuition! Times are hard, we all understand, but when you can put in functional safety equipment in laboratories or can’t afford to put working equipment in rooms, then why would you spend excessive amounts of capital on a new arts building.

    It’s sad that this is only a small example of problems that are occurring at Mount Allison, so as a student I understand that you must be under tremendous pressure to fix all these issues. But I hope you know your reputation, at least in the eyes of your current students is tarnished.

  26. You have made yourself out to be far to ignorant of a person to be making the statements you have made in this article. You clearly do not know the situation for Mount Allison students.

    “For one thing, universities that experience substantial strikes typically lengthen the term by cancelling reading breaks and adding additional days. So the number of classes actually lost is usually not excessive.”

    I do not know how Maclean’s even let you publish this. Clearly you did not receive the education behind the credits you paid for or you would have be able to realize that Mount Allison students lost 3 weeks to the strike and gained less than a week in compensation. Also the days received were previously allocated for study time for examinations, but instead the students were forced to cram in just 2 weekend days.

    “They can still do their readings, work on assignments, and do any number of tasks assigned before the strike occurred.”

    I am not sure if you know this but when there is a strike, most professors are on strike and are not giving out assignments or readings. Also I challenge you to attempt to still practice in lab during a strike – oh yeah that’s right, it is not possible.

    If you are going to insult students that are attempting to get an education you should at least make it seem like you have one yourself. Maybe you think it is arbitrary that we get a rebate but in the end it is more so the principle of it. Yes, we will get our shiny degree on paper but shouldn’t the goal of a university be to educate for a better future – or should we be just thinking of universities as a regular business attempting to scrape up any profits possible.

    “If the UNB repays students for instruction lost to a strike, shouldn’t they also refund students for days lost to bad weather?”

    This is so ridiculous it makes my blood boil. A strike, when it comes down to it, is like a playground argument. Of course I realize that there are important issues at hand during a strike, but it is handled with the approach of “I won’t talk to them until they give me something I want.” It is like children not speaking with each other because they both wanted something but mommy had to step in and give them the most reasonable compromise she could come up with. HOW is this like a snow day? These strike can be prevented, or at the very least they can be shortened by reasonable discussion over terms. As far as I have been taught throughout the first two years of my university education you or the university CANNOT control the weather. So comparing strike reimbursement to being repaid for snow days is also insulting.

    You are very ignorant and I am voicing the opinion of many well educated and concerned students at Mount Allison University. I hope you can someday realize that education, to us, is more than a piece of paper that we paid thousands of dollars for – we want to learn, and be taught to learn and better ourselves.

    Sincerely,

    Greg

  27. I was recently joking with some friends of mine about the fact that MacLean’s is probably still going to rate Mount Allison the #1 undergraduate university in Canada despite the fact that absolutely none of the students are happy with the services we’ve received this semester and the school clearly has no respect for us. This was a joke, ha ha ha, but after seeing what MacLean’s is willing to post it’s clear that they have no respect for students and no respect for well thought out arguments.
    This is garbage.
    This is embarrassing.

  28. Sure, a liberal arts education doesn’t boil down to a dollar sign… but a liberal arts education also doesn’t happen without a few dollar signs…

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