A student's perspective amidst a one-sided strike. Let us vote for what we are paying for!

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Premier Kathleen Wynne's government is attempting to pass back-to-work legislation in order to return students back to class as soon as possible. This is with the intention that it is what is best for all of the students affected by the strike. Many students expressing opposing opinions and disagreeing with this choice deserve to be heard. As STUDENTS and their families are the ones who paid and/or ARE PAYING to receive the quality education they expected, I believe we should have a say in this decision. An average college semester is 14 weeks long and as we head towards the sixth week of the strike, us students are becoming more and more frustrated and anxious given the uncertainty of this situation. Losing that significant amount of class time is not only frustrating, it comes with huge a huge toll financially and mentally. If we return back to class with a revised schedule we will be sacrificing the proper education and curriculum we are paying for as original syllabuses and assignments would be condensed.

The mental health of students has already been sacrificed during the strike as students were and still are unsure of how to complete assignments without instruction from professors, while also contemplating if the assignment will even be due if/when we return to class. Students are already worried about their anxiety and stress levels if we are forced back to class to somehow complete our semesters within a few weeks. We would also have to give up a huge portion of our Christmas break and completely surrender our spring reading break to try to finish this mess of a semester. Breaks are crucial to catch up on course work, studying, family time and (in my opinion, the most important factor) take care of ourselves mentally.

This strike has created a financial burden as tuition fees, residence and housing fees, food costs and other miscellaneous expenses have added up and gone to waste. With no refund in sight, these expenses just seem to have a snowball effect. Many students are unemployed right now as they were expecting to be in class and can no longer keep up with these expenses that aren't even benefiting their education anymore, the reason they are here. International students are  suffering even more as they are only legally allowed to work 20 hours a week making it very difficult to pay off bills.

MY PROPOSAL: Instead of solely having the government decide "what's best for us", they should allow us to make the decision for ourselves whether we would like to have a fresh start at the semester in January or Fall for a refund in order to receive the quality education we expected OR return to classes to salvage the remainder of this semester.

I appreciate you taking the time to consider my opinion and proposal and would really appreciate if you could share this petition to make sure our voices are heard! 



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