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Dd scared of crossing a university picket line

(184 Posts)
littlemissrain Fri 16-Feb-18 02:32:35

Dd's university is taking part in the strike next week.

Most of her teachers (mostly postgraduate students) will be striking, but none of her lecturers are. 2 of her lectures aren't recorded, so she has to go to them. This will
mean crossing the picket line, and she's terrified that the strikers will call her out/jeer at her as she goes in. She has anxiety problems so is really building this up in her mind. The strikes are, as things stand, going to last for up to a month, possibly longer.

Does anyone have any experience of having to cross picket lines?

LeslieKnopefan Fri 16-Feb-18 02:35:18

She isn’t crossing a picket line. That would be other teachers in the union who were choosing to work.

If she’s worried get her some good headphones and tel her to put her favourite songs on as she goes in.

Gannicusthemannicus Fri 16-Feb-18 03:06:15

I don't understand? Unless the teachers are protesting outside the university, the striking members of staff will just not be in work that day. There are pretty frequent strikes at universities these days, it just means sometimes her lectures won't be on. Everything continues as normal.

Battleax Fri 16-Feb-18 03:09:58

Some SUs have decided to hold supportive actions of various types Gann. If she's a politicised uni, there could well be people/noise.

Head down/ brisk stride tell her OP higher education is expensive for students and they shouldn't be intimidated by student "support" for the striking staff.

Battleax Fri 16-Feb-18 03:10:33

Sorry for complete lack of punctuation smile

MouseholeCat Fri 16-Feb-18 03:12:09

I used to work in a University on the management side, so experienced strikes. Most likely they won't even clock her going in as she's a student. Worst case, she'll get handed a flyer or asked to sign a petition. It's not her they are striking against, it's the administration (/the gov) so there's nothing to worry about.

Gannicusthemannicus Fri 16-Feb-18 03:12:59

Also, students are not in any way expected to participate in strikes. She still needs to go to all of her lectures. I've been through numerous university strikes in my history as a student and not once has it been anything but a normal, boring day. Tell her she will be fine, worst case scenario is her lectures get rescheduled.

Gannicusthemannicus Fri 16-Feb-18 03:16:20

Ah fair point Battleax, I haven't come across supportive actions before, must remember not to base my opinion on my one uni!

DuggeeHugs Fri 16-Feb-18 03:55:45

Headphones on and stay glued to her phone - it'll be fine. I've crossed the picket line before as staff and it was fine - they just stopped each car/cyclist/pedestrian and you could take a flyer or chat about why stike or neither. No angst, all very civilised!

Callamia Fri 16-Feb-18 04:20:57

Students should not be targeted by a picket line. Students may well join in, and good for them - but other students are definitely not the target of action. Your daughter should have nothing to fear.

There are lots of reasons that a person would be on a university campus, so ‘crossing a picket line’ isn’t always quite clear. I will be ‘crossing a picket line’ but not to teach or work, to take my child to nursery.

From previous experience, I expect there to be people out gathering support and providing information, but not being confrontational.

She may well know some of the people on the picket line. They’ll mainly be actual staff whose aim will be to engage rather than intimidate .

FenellaMaxwellsPony Fri 16-Feb-18 04:36:14

I work in a uni. It’s not like the miners strikes, the most people allowed on a picket line is 6. They don’t target students. The extent of the interaction will be “do you know why we are striking? Can I give you a flier?”

Silvercatowner Fri 16-Feb-18 04:58:43

I've been on a Uni picket line. It's very genial and good natured, your dd won't get any aggro at all. Yy to taking the flier and having a chat to the picketers.

FlickingVees Fri 16-Feb-18 05:01:27

What, no sit ins, no love ins?

What’s happened to our students- they all sound like compliant consumers in “1984”.

Why not have a strike party, or better still, a riot?
Make a placard, occupy the Bursar’s office, and snog the protester next to you when the tear gas gets going.

FlickingVees Fri 16-Feb-18 05:04:44

I loved my uni days.
We were up for the Revolution!

It might help your dds anxiety if she felt a sense of community and got involved rather than fretting about getting gold stars for attendance like she is still in school. Just a thought!

littlemissrain Fri 16-Feb-18 05:10:26


It's not about attendance - it's about attending a lecture on material that will be covered in the exam that's only 2 months away.

Plus, you weren't paying about £60 per contact hour...

LeslieKnopefan Fri 16-Feb-18 05:22:58

Exactly littlemiss and surely it’s up to your daughter to decide whether she wants to create a revolution, not told to by someone else!

She will honestly be fine! Like someone else said it’s not the miners strike.

If I can cope with 3 years as a Tory on a politics degree (had lecturers openly put down my views and tell me I was wrong!) then I am sure she will be fine.

Battleax Fri 16-Feb-18 05:25:17

Anxiety can't make it any easier, though.

SavvyBlancBlonde Fri 16-Feb-18 05:39:43

At DH’s university, there were 3 people on the picket line outside one building on the last strike. It wasn’t that big a line TBH

TheStoic Fri 16-Feb-18 05:43:20

Does she know for a fact there will be a ‘picket line’ to cross? What does she think will happen if there is, and they do try to talk to her?

FlickingVees Fri 16-Feb-18 05:50:01

That’s the thing about university. You don’t need to go to all the lectures, if you know A) how to read and B) where the library is. I’m sure the course content is available somewhere if she can use her wits?

University isn’t all about attending lectures, (and then stubbornly ignoring anything the lecturers say as leslie has just confessed)

Your DD might not be suited to university life at the moment OP if she’s so anxious she can’t function.

Could she take a year out and volunteer somewhere in Greece say, with a charity helping refugees coming in by boat? She could make a real difference there and the hardships she sees might reset her anxiety and perspective to a more realistic level.

Volunteering is a very special honor, and can be of real and lasting benefit for everyone involved.

NerrSnerr Fri 16-Feb-18 06:00:48

Flicking That's the thing about university, you can choose to go to lectures if you want to. The OP's daughter clearly wants to.

We know nothing about whether she volunteers, wants to volunteer or if she could afford to spend time volunteering in Greece! It's a huge jump from being anxious about crossing a picket line (I can understand that if you haven't witnessed a strike before) to not being suited to study because she wants to actually attend.

19lottie82 Fri 16-Feb-18 06:08:50

There might be ten people outside with placards at the absolute worst. To see it as crossing a picket line is pretty extreme.
No one will be abused or even questioned for walking past them.

Really it will be fine smile

OuaisMaisBon Fri 16-Feb-18 06:33:23

My own daughter is in her final year at university where the staff have failed to come to an agreement on pensions, and is considering manifesting her support for her striking tutors - but if any of them were not on strike, she would be attending their seminars, and not expect to be called out on it by the strikers.
As others have said, OP, it is not the miners' strike, people will be friendly and want support, not try to alienate students! It is the university admin and the government they are striking against.

rumbelina Fri 16-Feb-18 06:37:19

She won’t be ‘jeered at’ and I actually find this quite offensive. She may be handed a leaflet. Maybe she could show an interest - people don’t strike for no reason.

She is a student - she’s not expected to strike!

Radicalrooster Fri 16-Feb-18 07:14:51

University isn’t all about attending lectures, (and then stubbornly ignoring anything the lecturers say as leslie has just confessed)

Yes, because that's the point that Leslie was trying to make, wasn't it? God forbid an academic might respect a student's perspective even though it clashes with their own

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