St. Clair College has pulled an ad asking for donations and apologized to students for the insensitivity during the ongoing faculty strike.
The banner on the college's main web page encouraged people to donate $50 in recognition of the institution's 50th birthday. It's been circulating since January and was scheduled to come down next month.
But it's the timing of the ad that has St. Clair College student Laurie Wills upset. She emailed top administrators Thursday afternoon, expressing her outrage. At first, she thought it was a joke.
"I feel that the college has received every tuition dollar of this semester as a donation already," said Wills.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has scheduled a vote next week for college faculty who have been on strike since Oct. 16. About 500,000 students haven't been able to return to class during the four-week strike.
Within an hour, VP of communications John Fairley responded, apologizing for the "discomfort."
"We weren't sensitive enough to what's going on in the community and obviously with our students," said Fairley. "One student is the same as every student, so if it bothered them maybe there's others that felt the same way."
The ad was removed late Thursday afternoon, but Fairley said the college has plans to put it back up once the labour dispute is resolved.