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Nation

Cal U kids run on rumors

| Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2003

CALIFORNIA - Students at California University of Pennsylvania have received little official information about a possible teachers' strike.

Some expressed concerns Tuesday about tuition hikes, educational concerns and the long-term effects of a work stoppage.

One student is looking forward to down time.

Educators approached for this story declined to comment about their labor situation. The Cal U teachers, along with colleagues at 13 other Pennsylvania institutions in the State System of Higher Education, conducted a strike authorization vote Monday and Tuesday.

The votes will be counted in Harrisburg, and the result could be available Friday. Most students approached are trying to make sense of the many rumors that they have heard.

Kristen Schier, a junior social work major from Beaver, was angry about the issue.

"I heard that if the strike lasts more than two weeks, the semester will end," she said. "I was told that if that happens, we can keep the grade we have.

"But why are we in school, just to get A's or are we here to learn?"

Schier said none of her professors are addressing a possible strike in classes. Heather Antoon, a sophomore radio and TV news broadcast major from New Brighton, agrees.

"If we ask, they will say, 'Whatever happens, happens,'" An-toon said of her teachers. "We're paying for (classes). We have a right to know."

Freshman Lewis Stolburg said none of his professors are addressing the strike.

"I've only heard rumors, Stolburg said. "I'm not really concerned about a strike. I heard that if it happened, it would be at the end of the semester."

Blaine Orris, a junior anthropology major from Washington, Pa., said the educators seem to be generally unhappy.

"Right now a strike isn't the worst of my concerns," Orris said.

Brownsville sophomore Danielle Orbash said that she is worried less about a strike and more about tuition. Orbash said she fears a work stoppage could lead to a tuition hike.

"Everything that I've heard, I heard on the news," Orbash said of a possible strike.

Jeff Morris, a sophomore general education major from Washington, Pa., said one of his professors addressed the strike, but only after students asked during a class session.

"I don't really have any concerns. I'm just looking forward to a break for a few days," Morris said.

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