York protest no April Fool's Day joke
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos and Donna MacMullin
Close to 700 students at York University gathered to vent their anger toward faculty and administration at an April 1 forum addressing students' academic futures amidst the two-week-old faculty strike.
Despite the absence of both the president of the university and the school's Board of Governors, York administration, the York University Faculty Association and the York Federation of Students were at the forum to address current concerns over housing and exam schedules.
"At first the students vented more at faculty but near the end there was the realization that the administration are really the ones dragging this out," said Becky McFarlane, YFS's VP-external. "We hoped the forum accomplished waking up the administration to the fact that students won't just roll over and take what's happened."
Cora Dusk, assistant VP-student affairs at York, said it is expected the academic year will be extended at least one week and the exam schedule will extend into May. "A letter was sent to all students explaining the new schedule and informing them about what kind of assistance will be offered.
"We are allowing students to extend their residence contracts free of charge and if their leases expire in the York University apartments, they will be given an extension until exams are over," Dusk said, adding many students living off campus may also be able to extend their leases if they notify their landlords.
Students in need of financial aid may apply for an emergency loan or bursary through the financial aid office at the university, Dusk said.