To whom it may concern at the AQ,
I was disappointed while reading the Aquinian’s coverage of the strike in this week’s piece, “Week three: the students are fed up.”
I started reading the piece thinking there would be fair coverage of the protests from the morning of Jan. 24. I was under the impression that since few STU students are affected by the strike, our school’s paper might be able to offer an objective view of the strike. However, it seems the author chose to focus only on the opinions of students who have chosen to stay neutral and are more interested in their individual experience than that of the university as a whole.
On Friday Jan. 24, there were students present who have clearly placed themselves on the side of the professors. These students support professors because the strike is about more than any one person’s individual needs. For the professors, striking is about advocating for the greater good of their profession and university, and as a result, their students. Their demand for a higher wage (one that would put them in the middle of their comparison group) will benefit everyone who goes to UNB.
The raise they are asking for will serve to keep and attract quality professors and it will allow for top-notch research to take place. In doing these two things students benefit from knowing that they were taught by the best, and UNB will be be able to build a reputation that makes each student’s degree worth more in the career pool.
The message that the administration of UNB is currently sending is that the education they are offering is simply a commodity, something sold for a profit. The addition of 84 administrators over the past 10 years (and the loss of 48 academic positions), the use of a $2,000 per day security detail, and the absurd amount of money the university spends to keep the president living in a colonial mansion should prove to students that the administration is at the very least not something they should feel neutral about.
I don’t expect that everyone will support AUNBT’s position (though I really think that unless you are a member of the administration, or living off the avails of the administration, you should). What I do expect is that my university will offer full and fair coverage of the situation, as I can’t seem to find any fair coverage in the rest of New Brunswick’s mainstream news media.
Editor’s note: After this letter came in, UNB administration and Association of UNB Teachers reached a tentative agreement, ending the strike.
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