Thursday, September 18, 2008

faculty strike & hypocrisy.

The University of Windsor faculty is currently on strike for a variety of reasons, many* some of which seem to have been debunked by a letter from the University's president to students last night.

I can't help but wonder how many of the professors and students picketing are the same folks who believe that a post-secondary education is a right and constantly use that opinion as an argument for "free" post-secondary education.

I wonder how all those who throw about the rights argument and stand on the picket line supporting professors' work stoppage explain suspending this supposed right in order to get what they want? I also wonder how they justify many cost-increasing demands that will surely be passed on to students in the form of higher tuition if they believe that the cost of post-secondary education infringe on that right?**

Do these folks also agree with suspending other rights when it's deemed necessary by those able to suspend them?

Sounds to me like, to these people, the "education as a right" argument is nothing but an argument of convenience.

A few notes, since I wasn't trying to make too broad a statement towards those on strike and because I've been convinced otherwise on another point:

*Note 1: A few people with way more knowledge of exactly what's going on between the two sides than I have have assured me there's more to the story than the letter, and you can read the union's response, which seems fair enough, here.

**Note 2: A few valid points have convinced me to withdraw this specific criticism:
- first: the University can only increase tuition rates by a set amount every year, so this really doesn't add to the cost of university for students, though higher costs do lead to higher debt for U of W.
- second: if you're the kind of person who believes a university education is a right, you're also the kind of person who believes it should be completely publicly funded, and therefore monetary demands wouldn't increase the costs to students. As such, this specific point wouldn't constitute hypocrisy.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Good point!

"We're talking about the quality of our students' education" (Brian Brown, WUFA)

Right.. Good sound byte, but not so believable.