Letter to the editor: Support staff services

During the strike, I was so busy just keeping my head above water, that I didn’t have time to think about the full impact the dispute had on me, my unit (I am a department chair) and my students. What is clear to me now is that while I have always appreciated the work of support staff, until the strike I had not realized the depth and diversity of the services that they offer.

During the strike, when the computing system went down, when I got a message on the phone line saying that Carleton’s number was not in service, when the video projector was broken, I could not get help because all of the people who deliver these services were on the picket line.

In our own unit, the counselling and advising services of my administrator were unavailable and dozens of students were without her expert assistance. Our programs are complex, in some cases virtually hand-built (e.g. Child Studies, Directed Interdisciplinary Studies) and only Colleen [Fulton] is able to help our students.

Clearly, these staff members are essential to the success of our teaching, and to the university as a whole. I am glad that the strike was resolved successfully.

Katherine Arnup
Director, Institute of
Interdisciplinary Studies

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