As many of you may have been hearing, UCSB TAs went on strike as of yesterday in solidarity with the cost of living adjustment (COLA) strike among TAs at UC Santa Cruz. UCSB TAs also hope to use this action to get a COLA increase for themselves due to the very high cost of living in the Santa Barbara area. It is an exciting time to be a UCSB student, but you may also have lots of questions - below is some information that might help answer some of those questions.
How does this affect you as an Anthropology Department undergraduate student?
· TA availability - office hours and section scheduling: Many, but not all, TAs across various departments on campus have been cancelling section as a way of participating in this strike. Other TAs have been offering extra office hours in order to be supportive of undergraduate students at this time. Still others are canceling sections and office hours. Please respect your TAs decision on the form and extent of their participation in strike actions.
· Grading assignments: Many TAs across UCSB may also extend their participation in the strike by choosing not to grade final assignments, or at least delaying the grading of final assignments, as a means of demonstrating how disruptive it will be for undergraduate education if TAs are not compensated adequately for their labor.
What is the Anthropology Department doing in response to this strike?
· The Department supports the TAs' choice to strike and their reasons for striking. Many of your professors may have even dedicated some class time to explaining more about the strike as it's been unfolding.
· Because of the very recent developments, we are currently having lots of discussions about how to handle the above issues for the remainder of this quarter (and potentially next quarter, if the strike continues)
· Every department will likely be handling this differently, so do not assume that section cancellations and so forth will be consistently true across all the different department courses you may be taking this quarter.
Currently, please keep in mind:
· Stay in contact with your professor by checking your UCSB email regularly (this is especially important if you usually use a personal email instead of your UCSB email account.) They will keep you informed about section cancellations and any adjustments to final assignments as we learn more about the situation as it develops.
· Until you hear specifically from your professor that something has changed in the scheduling of sections, lecture, or assignments due for your specific courses, continue to attend class and complete all assignments on the regular schedule laid out in your syllabus and class announcements. Basically, if you haven't heard anything, keep doing what you'd be doing normally!
· For the time being, if you have immediate academic concerns about an Anthropology class you are enrolled in and if your TA has chosen not to make themselves available due to the strike, meet with your professor. Since there will likely be lots of extra faculty meetings into the next week(s), email them first and give them a reasonable amount of time to respond, or visit them during their regular office hours.
· Please come see me or email me if you have any other questions or concerns. I will also continue to pass along information as the department learns more about the strike.
More information to come soon - check your UCSB email regularly!