Can you opt out? St. Clair College's plan to make up for 5 weeks of lost time
Students can opt out of this semester until December 11, with no tuition refund
UPDATE: The province has announced its plans to mitigate strike expenses to students since this story was first published.
Students who decide to withdraw from college because of the strike will receive a full tuition refund. That means a withdraw from the institution, not just a withdrawal from the current semester.
Administration at St. Clair College have outlined their plans to accommodate students for the five weeks of time they've lost this semester, after a province-wide strike.
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"With consultation with our student government leaders we've put together a plan we believe is going to finish the fall semester and not to the liking of everybody but we'll do our best and get the outcomes needed for graduation," said John Fairley, Vice President of College and Community Relations at St. Clair College.
Fairley said this semester would be shortened to 14 weeks, rather than the full 15. That will mean teaching will continue until December 22 and students will return from holiday break on January 2 instead of on January 9.
Exams would begin a "couple of weeks later" and the semester would most likely end on January 20, said Fairley.
Fairley said the college has extended the date for students to opt out of this semester — with no penalties to their transcripts — to December 11. However, there will be no refunds.
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The ministry will be outlining plans for a 'relief fund' this week, to help some students cover potential costs, Fairly said.
"All the 24 colleges have given input in it, so we're expecting in a few days to get that rolled out for our students," said Fairley.
Listen to John Fairley's full interview on Windsor Morning
Classes resume on Tuesday. Fairley said that regular scheduled classes and apprenticeships will go back to normal, as they were before the strike.
'We want a fresh semester'
Business and accounting student Betty Sylvain said she is "confused and disappointed" with the way the college has handled the strike.
"As students we are the customers that paid for a service, our college is the service provider, we do not get the service we paid for," she said.
Sylvain plans to go to the college on Monday, to see what kind of services they are offering students. She has a five-year-old son who will need care as she accommodates the school's new schedule.
"Is St Clair College going to provide service to students who have kids, are they going to make sure we have what we need to succeed," she said. "We have life, we have responsibilities."
Hear Betty Sylvain's interview on Windsor Morning
Although she would like to have a fresh semester, Sylvain plans to attend classes despite what she is expecting to be a "hostile environment."
"This was the longest strike in the history of Ontario and all the government decided to send us back to school, the teachers don't want to be there the students don't want to be there... it's not going to be a healthy environment for the students to learn in."