By Renee Nat
With no classes, no homework and no foreseeable solution to the strike, some York University students think Ryerson may have the answers to their problems.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re being ripped off by York,” said Brandon Duncan, a third-year nursing student at York. “I knew my program was offered at Ryerson, so I tried transferring.”
Duncan is one of many York University students who recently flooded Ryerson admissions and recruitment, looking to transfer universities. Ryerson admissions said the number of inquiries regarding undergraduate transfers from York have greatly increased this year.
CUPE 3903, the union representing York teaching assistants, faculty members and graduate students, have been on strike since Nov. 6, canceling classes for 50,000 students.
“York students are considering their options. They want to see how to go about transferring and some will transfer and others may decide to stay at York depending on the resolution of the strike,” said Charmaine Hack, Ryerson’s associate registrar and director of admissions and recruitment.
“The longer the strike goes on, the more phone calls we get.”
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy doesn’t necessarily see the influx of students from York as a good thing.
“What pleases us more than anything is for the strike to be settled at York, for York to get as quickly back to its academic business,” he said.
Students are too late to transfer for the current Winter semester and can apply for a Fall 2009 start. Meanwhile, interested York students can take courses through the Chang School of Continuing Education.
Dasha Rodina, a third-year student, said that she can’t picture going back to York.
Having previously taken summer courses at Ryerson, she is thinking of returning.
“York has lost its prestige. People are right to leave. I’m just not sure my courses are all transferable and York administration has been less than helpful to me in the past,” said Rodina.
Ryan Wilson, a third-year criminology student at York, said he believes transferring while the strike is on-going is not a good idea and would prefer to wait it out.
“The optimal resolution would be that the union receives more or less what it’s asked for, that students can finish their fall semester, and that students could get a refund on their winter term,” he said.
York University recently asked the Ontario Ministry of Labour to force a vote on offer made by the school on January 7. The offer included a threeyear 11 per cent increase in overall wages and benefits.
If it passes, this could end the strike. If not, Ryerson admissions may get busier.