Fanshawe College students will be going back to school Tuesday after Ontario MPPs ordered striking college faculty back to work on Sunday night.
The semester was stalled five weeks after faculty went on strike regarding a number of issues, including part-time faculty and academic freedom.
Students started getting restless a couple of weeks into the strike as questions began to arise about whether or not the semester would be cancelled and how students were going to deal with increased travel or living expenses.
Josh Bornais is a fourth-year student in the media theory and production program at Western University and Fanshawe. He said although he was still busy working with the Fanshawe radio station over the past five weeks, he sympathizes with college students and felt some frustrations himself.
“Overall, I would say that while I did completely understand why the teachers were striking, … the main people who were victimized by the strike have been the students,” Bornais said.
However, while Conservative and Liberal MPPs voted in favour of the back-to-work legislation, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the bill was “anti-worker.” Bornais said it was a fair point.
“I think what they did was wrong because while yes, we are technically saving our semester, it is impending the union’s right to strike and it’s also impeding workers' rights,” he said.
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development also announced Monday that college students who withdraw in the next two weeks will be able to apply for a full tuition refund on the fall semester.
Going forward, college students' fall term will be extended to Dec. 22, a winter reading week will likely be removed and a couple of weeks may be added to the spring semester.