The Department of Anthropology at York University declares that all lectures, seminars and tutorials are suspended for the duration of the CUPE 3903 strike. We are unanimously supportive of our Unit 1 and Unit 2 colleagues and recognize the contributions they make to all of the courses that we teach. In responding to this strike, we are motivated by Senate Policy 2.2 with its emphasis on “Fairness to students” and the student’s right to refuse to cross a picket line without penalty, a right that most of our students have exercised. We would like to assure all students taking our courses that we will resume teaching as soon as possible in a form that maintains the academic integrity of the course in the timeframe to be laid out by Senate. We will do our best to minimize the impact of the labour disruption. At this point, however, we feel that the academic integrity of all of our courses has been compromised for the following reasons:
• A significant number of students have refused to cross picket lines for reasons of safety, accessibility, and the awkwardness of confronting TAs or Course Instructors. They will not attend lectures, seminars and tutorials, thus making it impossible to meet the academic objectives and reach the desired learning outcomes of the course.
• Courses taught by FT faculty with CUPE TAs: These are undergraduate lecture courses that depend on the work of TAs who lead tutorials that are central to the academic integrity of the course.
• Courses taught by FT faculty with high Experiential Education components: In an experiential education course attendance is mandatory. These courses involve numerous in-class exercises facilitated by the instructor and group activities. Academic integrity in these courses cannot be maintained as many students have chosen not to cross the picket lines. If these courses continued running during the strike, those students would not be able to complete the course requirements, and the group activities would be compromised.
• Seminar Courses taught by FT faculty: These courses rely on student participation for in-class discussion in order to realize course learning objectives. Further, students are evaluated based on their contributions to class discussion and in-class presentations. The pedagogical integrity in these courses cannot be maintained during the strike because many students have chosen not to cross picket lines. If these courses continued during the strike, seminar discussions would be compromised and some students would not be able to complete the course requirements.
We recognize that this labour disruption may cause particular problems for some students. We are committed to searching for other pedagogic methods such as online instruction, comments and grading etc. where possible. We encourage you to contact Department Chair/ Undergraduate Program Director with your questions or concerns. We will do all we can to rectify the issues.