Pro-student does not mean pro-striker

Some wrongly assume all students are obligated to support striking workers. Categorically, students should not be expected to either agree with the clerical union’s stance or to actively support strikers.

What puts a student in the same boat as a University worker in the first place? Some say it is because both are at the end of the University totem pole. Perhaps part of the pro-student, pro-union conclusion is based on the assumption that to be a student is to be liberal and therefore pro-labor. We fail to come to these same conclusions.

Both students and employees did choose to learn or work here, and as such are dealt the same blow – a huge University budgetary shortfall. However, students made the choice (albeit difficult) to pay a nearly 15 percent tuition increase, footing much of the University deficit, or to attend elsewhere or not at all. Although students might feel some of the financial pain later in student loans, the hundreds of extra dollars paid this year – which, with interest, will be much more – is a huge strain. Students have borne about half the budgetary “pain”; they should not be expected to think that no one else should share it.

Second, students are not the same as clerical workers. They are buying an education, which clerical workers are paid to help facilitate. Students might feel workers are getting a bum deal, but that is an individual decision they must make. Furthermore, just because University students tend to be more liberal than conservative does not guarantee they are union supporters, or that they support striking workers in this case.

All this said, students who agree with the clerical union must support striking workers by putting action to their beliefs. However, other students should not feel obligated to do the same; they must make up their own minds about this issue.