In a bid to clear up rumours about the ongoing college faculty strike, Fanshawe College is reminding students that the fall semester has not been cancelled.

In an online letter, President Peter Devlin says the college continues to work on finding ways to ensure students don't lose a semester.

To that end, fall semester studies are now being extended into January, which will delay the start of the winter semester.

Fall exams and classes are also being cancelled the week between Christmas and New Years.

Devlin says he appreciates the students' patience and urges them to attend the daily drop-in question-and-answer sessions at the London campus.

Students at Fanshawe College have had their semester pushed back by two days to Dec. 22.

Government has plans for money saved during strike

Recognizing some of the hardships facing students, the minister of Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Deb Matthews, says she's requiring that colleges establish a dedicated fund with all the savings from the strike. The fund will be used to support students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the strike.

"I will work with students and colleges starting immediately to develop the parameters of the fund," she said. "We need to work out the details together and we will do it quickly."

Matthews says she's aware that many students are worried about how to pay for unexpected costs such as additional rent or canceling long-standing travel plans to be home with family.

About 12,000 college professors, counselors and librarians at have been on strike since Oct. 16. in a dispute that centers around job security and academic freedom.

The strike affects more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges across Ontario.

"They've told me they are stressed about when they will be able to complete their studies or if there will be any extra help when classes finally resume," said Matthews.  "They deserve our support."