York still settling issues
By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
The strike which plagued York University this summer has long since passed, yet in its wake students are left with mixed emotions and wondering why they have failures on their transcripts.
Because of a huge backlog in paperwork due to many exam deferments offered to students during the strike, incorrect failures recorded on transcripts have cost students housing and places of enrollment, said Anthony Barbisan, presidential commissioner for the York Federation of Students.
"It will take months to clean up the paperwork alone, and even years before everything settles back to normal," Barbisan said, adding he still had two summer final exams to write even though the new school year had begun.
Adding to the backlog of paperwork from deferments are the many academic and housing petitions which the federation is actively trying to help resolve, Barbisan said.
Phyllis Clarke, VP-administration at York, said they have been working on the problem, with special emphasis on getting graduates to a November convocation.
"The administration wants to make sure there are no more disruptions in the student's lives," Clarke said, adding it feels like there never was a strike at York.
"Students seem anxious to get back to class and people seem generally pleased to be back at school," she said.
Sine MacKinnon, senior advisor for media relations at York, agreed relationships seem fairly harmonious and stable despite this problem which she said they are actively working on.
"It is fair to say that workers have been doing overtime to accommodate all of the changes and demands of the students," MacKinnon said.
Even in the wake of all these problems, enrollment seems to have held and may have even risen somewhat, she said.
Enrollment at the University of Toronto saw an increase, especially during the summer months when stress to complete courses was highest for students, said Ellen Dubelt, admissions counsellor at the university.
"We are unsure as to exact numbers, but in terms of summer enrollment there was definitely a lot more students," she said.
In an attempt to avoid future strikes and the problems that go along with them, Lorna Marsden, the new president of York, has ensured successful collective agreements with almost every union at the university, MacKinnon said.
"Whenever there is a new president, there is time to start new relationships."