Humber Strike: International students concerned about faculty strike

Published On October 24, 2017 | By Michelle Neha | Features, Humber Strike, IGNITE, News

Humber College hosts more than 3,000 international students each year between its three campuses. (Tyson Lautenschlager)

By: Michelle Neha Bastian

The festival of Diwali might have brought light and joy, but international students at Humber College celebrated the event with mixed reactions. The indefinite faculty strike is of growing concern to the more than 3,000 non-Canadian students currently studying here.

The main concern is a lack of information on the situation. While the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development is reassuring students that delays won’t penalize them, it’s still a stress they don’t want to face.

“I think the only thing we are worried about right now is that this entire period of strike doesn’t extend our entire semester because being an international student, we have a certain limit to our study permit. If it goes on for like two to three weeks, it might lead to an extension of our semester,” Richa, a student from India said.

Unfortunately, the schools also face the same dilemma of uncertainty. Matthew Keefe, an advisor at Humber’s International Centre, said more information should arise soon.

“There will be more messaging once they finalise what happens with the strike,” said Keefe.

“It’s a mixed reaction. Because from one side they are fighting what is right, on the other side we are losing money and we are losing classes,” said Carlos Gomez from Venezuela.

Students are concerned the semester will either be extended or faculty will try to cram the syllabus into what little time is left in the semester. For many who struggle with language and cultural barriers, this could be an added source of stress.

In order to keep international students integrated in Humber’s community, the international centre along with First Year Experience and IGNITE have events and workshops to fill the gap left by lectures.

“Some of [the trips] were already planned but we did add a few extra just to help keep engagement on campus and with Humber,” said Keefe. “We’re still here for them, Humber is open, all the other departments at Humber are open, the International Centre and all the resources around campus are still available to them.”

Many, however, feel this is a temporary solution to keep students occupied while their main concerns are still not being addressed.

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