With a faculty strike in full effect, students across the 14 schools in Pennsylvania State System-Higher Education (PASSHE) are affected. However, student athletes have had a fairly normal day.
Shippensburg University student athletes were able to practice like any normal day. The athletes also, as of now, will face no changes in their athletic schedules.
“Well right now, we are meeting all of our obligations in terms of practice,” Roger Serr, Shippensburg University vice president of student affairs, said. “We intend to participate in all of our scheduled contests.”
The main reason this is possible is because the coaches of the sports teams in the state system are not on strike.
SU Sports Medicine, however, is out on strike. The university has countered the athletic trainers protest by bringing in temporary trainers, since the teams would not be practicing without athletic trainers.
“In my view, we can’t run practices and competitions without athletic trainers, and or medical support,” Serr said. “We have to ensure the safety of our athletes.”
“The athletic trainers who are part of the faculty union are out on strike, so we did go and hire a private firm that is providing us with athletic training support. We have certified athletic trainers, on the campus, at the practices and at games.”
With SU’s upcoming sports schedule, if other universities are hosting events and do not have trainers or medical staff available for sporting events, a university may be forced to forfeit a contest.
“If another institution is not able to send their team to a location or are unable to host a game, they would forfeit,” Serr said. “I can tell you with today being the first day [of the strike] there were no forfeits.”
As well as campus sports teams, intramural sports are unaffected, as of now, so students will be able to continue playing intramural sports during the strike.
“Galen Piper, the director of intramurals, is still running his normal schedule,” Serr said. “I got an email from him today, so I know that’s a fact.”
The long-term affects of the strike are uncertain regarding athletics, but for SU, nothing changes this weekend.
SU’s football game at Millersville University, SU’s home volleyball games this weekend and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Cross-Country Championships are expected to go on as scheduled.