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St. FX Faculty Members Apprehensive about Approaching Fall Semester

The head of the teacher’s union at St FX University says while many professors are looking forward to the fall there is still some apprehension amongst the membership.

Last week, StFX issued a waiver to students to sign which would mean students give up certain

Martin van Bommel, President of the St. FX Association of University Teachers (St. FX photo)

legal rights including the right to sue or claim compensation in regards to covid 19. In an email on Sunday, new university president Andrew Hakin said the waiver is a part of the university`s risk management.

Martin van Bommel, president of the StFX Association of University Teachers, said members were cautiously optimistic the last few weeks but the release of the waiver changed things a bit. He said the lack of communication and consultation surrounding the waiver, and the document itself, led to uncertainty and apprehension about how the university is dealing with the pandemic.

Van Bommel said AUT membership would like to see more clarification on what classrooms will look like in the fall, what the dorms will look like, and how the students are expected to behave while on campus. He said there was some communication with students but more would go a long way in making people more comfortable with the situation. Van Bommel said a lot of members are also concerned with the amount of work they are putting into getting ready for the fall while also not knowing if they will have to make changes like they did when the pandemic hit. He also noted there are members such as part-time instructors and lab instructors who are not under contract right now who also have to prepare.