COLUMN: Coming to an end


Rob Le Cates

Kyla Moton is a junior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Kyla Moton, Columnist

With the suspension of the strike in effect, I am very glad that our professors have made the decision to end the strike for a while to allow us as students to get back into the classroom.

It has been difficult to stay on routine when my classes have not been meeting due to the strike. I was one of those students who would not sit in a classroom with someone who was not as well versed with the course topic. For the simple fact, I would prefer to have the person who had all the knowledge and experience regarding the course teaching me, not a substitute.

The most that I would do is go to work everyday that I was assigned. Giving tours during this time has not been exciting. I have to reroute my tours to make it so that my families are not asking questions, even though that did not stop families from asking questions.

Having to tell them that “our administration and the UPI are coming to an agreement soon” instead of “our professors deserve a better pay for the amount of work that they do” is a very lackluster response to these questions, and it makes me wonder what these families I bring on tours will think about attending Eastern after hearing everything.

They know that we are not telling them the whole truth, so of course they want to seek the truth themselves. It is not fun telling prospects all these great things about the university when the most important aspect, our professors, are being treated unfairly.

It makes you think about how the students are being treated in various aspects as well. The good thing is that our professors are back to teach their classes, so that is one good thing. The unfortunate part, though, is that there are still negotiations surrounding the university’s “last, best and final offer”.

I am not sure what the offer states, but hopefully it is a step up from the previous offers that our EIU-UPI leaders had to walk away from and continue the strike over the last few days. This strike has also taught me to not settle for the things that I deserve in life.

Being paid a livable, stable wage is essential to jobs, especially those that you have acquired based on your accolades. Standing up for the throngs that you deserve is a form of expression, you are using your voice to let people know that they cannot and will not treat you unfairly without a fight.

I have heard many students who are fed up with the fact that our professors were on strike for the amount of time that they were. I have heard people say that if the professors do not like the pay, then they should just quit and get another job where they are paid properly.

But, to counteract this logic, what makes you think that any other professor with any degree would want to be in the same boat as our professors currently? Yeah, it might be cool for them in the moment, but down the line, they are going to be fed up and the same result will go on: a strike and a back and forth between the UPI and our university’s administration.

The cost of living will continue to go up as normal, inflation will continue to occur in various aspects, and our educators are the forefront of our education, do you think Eastern is just gonna be able to hire over 100 professors in the span of a couple of months? Absolutely not.

But at the end of the day, our professors are back in the classroom and I am supporting our professors until the end of this fight.

Kyla Moton is a junior English/creative writing major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.