Although the strike has come to an end, students and professors are still standing strong. It has been a rough week, but students have joined together in solidarity with professors on the picket lines, showing that within a bad situation, everyone needs to stand together.
Tensions were high, even off the picket line, as some students did not agree with their classmates picketing with professors, or even the professors striking. However, what makes the entire situation better is that Shippensburg University students, as well as students across the other 14 state schools combined to support their professors in the form of their presence on the picket line and food donations.
“I think it’s good to see solidarity,” said psychology major Zhane McMillion.
SU students stood at the picket lines with professors, chanting and engaging the passing vehicles as cars honked. That showed me that SU really is a community in which we all try our best to stick together.
“It’s been the most fabulous thing I’ve ever seen,” said Debra Cornelius, a sociology professor. She said they are proud students have seen through the state systems rhetoric. “This has shown us that students have our back,” Cornelius said.
Although some students and community members were displeased with those striking, if you looked in the crowds of professors, there were always students ready and willing to help.
At every entrance to the college, students donated food and drinks to the professors to show that they do, in fact, care.
“We’ve had many donuts dropped off,” English professor Carla Kungl said, referencing the boxes of donuts that could be found at many of the entrances.
“We see it as support,” Richard Zumkhawala-Cook said. “It says that they’re on our side.”
Although many students left campus, professors could see that the students who did stay recognized what the professors do for them, and students took it to heart and repaid the favor. Cornelius said it showed that even though students come from a position where professors are the ones giving them grades, they still know the professors care about them.
Social work major Paige Bankhead-Lewis said the reason she was standing on the picket line with professors was because she was “helping [professors] stand for a cause.”
Even in the rain, students exhibited kindness while braving the weather to bring specialized cakes, coffee and more donuts.
“[Professors] are fighting for us and we’re fighting for them” sociology major Jayme Nichols said.
It just goes to show that even though professors and students come from different levels of the university, in times like these, we are all one community, and SU students and professors can join as one.