February 15, 2022
Hello Dr. Ricketts, Dr. Keefe, and Mr. Demone,
I am sure you are receiving many of these emails right about this time, with varying tones and demands of you. Unfortunately, due to the lack of communication the students have received, this is another one of those emails.
As you are no doubt aware, today marks two weeks that the faculty has been on strike. According to Dr. Keefe’s latest news statement, “students are taking advantage of this downtime to catch up, get ahead of coursework, exercise, and rest”. I can assure you this is far from the truth. This time is taking a severe mental health toll on students, who feel completely lost without being able to contact faculty members for course guidance. Sure, many of us have long-term projects to “catch up” on, but how are we expected to do well if faculty are unavailable? Now, before you twist this to blame the faculty, it has been communicated to students that the administration has not reached out to negotiate since the strike began, clearly communicating the lack of regard you have for us in the face of financial decisions for the university. Students are not “resting”, they are struggling to get out of bed and find the motivation to do anything. Myself, and many of my friends, don’t see much of a point in doing coursework with no end to this limbo in sight.
That being said, I understand that your stance is that refunds will not be administered until the “academic term is impacted”. You cannot seriously look me in the eye and say that my academic term has not been impacted this far. I have paid, so far, for two weeks of course content that I have not, and likely will not, receive. With current NS tuition fees, that amounts to $700 ($70/day for 10 days) that I have paid to sit twiddling my thumbs and await word from the administration.
This is unacceptable.
Based on your last email, you are considering either a condensed or extended academic term. I sincerely hope that you are not going to claim that because the term was modified, it was not impacted. If the term is condensed, I am likely paying to receive truncated course content, or content that is so rapidly thrown at students that we barely have time to breathe in-between essays and tests. If the term is extended, that impacts summer job start dates, and therefore hinders the ability to secure gainful summer employment, and our income. In either case, the academic term will be impacted, and I sincerely hope that you refund our tuition to reflect this.
It is one thing to claim that the faculty went on strike, and that they are the ones who impacted our term. However, your refusal to return to the negotiating table and end this limbo state for students is what is prolonging the negative effects of this strike, to our health and our wallets.
Please show us you are better than the behaviour you are currently displaying, and return to the negotiating table so students can once again have faith and trust in the institution they attend.