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Loyalist students frustrated as college strike stretches into fifth week

Click to play video 'Student anxiety increasing as strike enters week 5' Student anxiety increasing as strike enters week 5
WATCH ABOVE: Students at Belleville's Loyalist College are anxious about when they'll get back to class as they await the results of a faculty vote – Nov 13, 2017

While faculty members picket at the Loyalist College entrance on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road in Belleville, the college’s student government has been organizing daily get-togethers as a way to boost student morale.

But with the province-wide college strike now stretching into its second month, Loyalist students are becoming increasingly frustrated.

“It’s just a shame that I find the college system is being so stubborn about this. It seems to me a bit bull-headed,” said third-year animation student Jon Moraal.

READ MORE: Ontario college faculty set to vote this week, could end month-long strike

Loyalist students were sent emails last week outlining a plan to return to class on Nov. 20. However, that is contingent on a faculty vote this week on the College Employer Council’s final offer.

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Loyalist president Ann Marie Vaughan says if students do return on the 20th, they’ll have more than enough time to get the necessary work in to get their credits and complete the semester.

“We’re also extending into April,” Vaughn said. “Obviously if the strike continues past this week, then we’ll have to continue to adjust, but we are committed to giving students their programs.”

READ MORE: Union calls on striking Ontario college faculty to reject latest contract offer

That could mean a shorter Christmas break, eliminating the spring reading week and stretching out the semester.

“I’m probably going to need more time with the school now,” third-year animation student Haley Skinkle said. “So it’ll be more rent during the summer and that kind of stuff that I wasn’t planning on.”

Should faculty reject the offer, Skinkle says she’s not sure she could even afford to come back to class — whenever that would be.