Campus campout? UBC students mull options as bus strike looms
VANCOUVER – With a full-scale transit shutdown on the horizon, some university students are growing increasingly concerned about how they'll get to classes.
One idea that has been floated – likely as a joke – is to camp out on the University of British Columbia campus, even as temperatures drop to near-freezing overnight.
"What is a good place to pitch a tent on campus for next Wednesday – Friday?" one Reddit user wrote this week, noting the ideal spot would have a soft surface and be close to showers.
The university has made clear that classes will continue next week, whether or not Unifor escalates its job action.
In an online message to students and faculty, administrators said adjusting the academic calendar is "extremely complex," and that cancelling classes just isn't an option.
"For some of our programs, the loss of four or more days could compromise professional accreditation. Cancelling classes or exams is not a solution, as doing so could cause longer-term issues for students who may be forced to make up the classes or even repeat the academic year," it reads.
The university has recommended people consider carpooling, and even suggested students may be able to participate in some classes remotely via video conferencing.
Simon Fraser University has taken a similar approach, despite the remoteness of its campus atop Burnaby Mountain. Students at both universities have been told to discuss their transportation problems with their instructors.
So far, Unifor has only announced full-scale strike action from Nov. 27-29, but it could prove to be a much bigger problem for university students if it resumes the following week – when exams are getting underway.
UBC's exam period runs from Dec. 3 to 18, while SFU's runs from Dec. 4 to 16.
Service on the SkyTrain, Canada Line and West Coast Express will not be impacted by next week's bus strike – though the union representing SkyTrain workers passed a strike vote Thursday that paves the way for potential disruptions on the busy Expo and Millennium lines.