WSU students protest overnight as faculty union strike continues

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) –- Dozens of Wright State students continue to stage a protest outside the university President’s office.

Students began protesting around 2 p.m. Wednesday. That protest has continued past 6 a.m. with students planning to remain outside President Cheryl Schrader’s office.

“Our calls for help and attention and concerns are going unanswered by the Board of Trustees and the president,” WSU student and protester Elyse Angle said. “This has gone on too long and it needs to end.”

Students say they are prepared to stay until their demands are met, claiming it’s an unfair and difficult learning environment on campus as the third week of the faculty union strike wears on.

“I’m still hoping that I can graduate and try to stick out this last semester. I also don’t want to go anywhere because this is the school that I came to to learn, and I came to learn from very specific people and they’re not being treated fairly. So I’d rather stay here and fight for them than go somewhere else,” says senior Caitlyn Shiner.

A march to the President’s office Wednesday rallied the troops, but uncertainty remains as many students still have no replacement instructors.

The silent protestors are demanding that the union keep collective bargaining rights on healthcare, the Board of Trustees resign, students get reimbursed for class time lost, and a public apology from the Board and President Schrader.

In a statement Wednesday, the university maintains 80 percent of classes are covered, adding in part: “This number is climbing as more union faculty return to the classroom, temporary instructors commit to staying, and new faculty join the university.”

Certainly not every student is supportive of the striking faculty.

“These people need to get a grip. They don’t understand the issues. They’re running around, some laughing some smiling. That’s not what protest is about. And I think they know that,” says transfer student Zachary Turner.

Three weeks in, and some students backing the union can’t see a way out.

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