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College students organizing sit-ins to protest strike

College faculty strike entering week 5
2017-11-06 College faculty strike Georgian
College faculty walk the picket line at Georgian College's main campus on Oct. 15, 2017. Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

Georgian College students are holding a peaceful 'End The Strike' sit-in today outside the office of Georgian President and CEO  MaryLynn West-Moynes.

"This is a peaceful protest intended to make our numbers known and so MaryLynn West-Moynes cannot ignore us any longer," organizers wrote on Facebook. 

"Our collective stance is simply that we wish the strike to end and that that is well within the abilities of the college to do so. I encourage everyone to have their student IDs on them as a way of validating your presence. We've paid tuition and therefore have paid to be able to be on campus."

Striking college faculty members at Ontario's 24 community colleges begin voting Tuesday on the College Employer Council's most recent offer.

The 'secret ballot' vote which will be done on-line or by phone, was requested by the Council after the last round of renewed talks broke down.

Students are also starting to organize province-wide protests to voice their frustration as the strike enters a fifth week.

The ‘Get Your Ass to Class’ student driven movement is planning a province-wide 'peaceful' sit in on Thursday.

Students from every campus in Ontario are being urged to fill the hallways and classes of Ontario colleges 'to show to everyone we are ready to learn.'

"This is not a protest but a peaceful sit in and demonstration of the power of the student voice. This event is aimed at delivering the message that politics should not stand in the way of our future," organizers wrote in an email to media.

"We have taken a neutral stance in the negotiations and simply offer a solution that respects the democratic process but does so in a way that allows Ontario’s students to continue with their semester and give them a fighting chance of graduating on time."

The group says it has representatives from nearly every college in Ontario that are working together to 'show OPSEU and the colleges that we want the strike to end, we want our voices heard and we want our asses back in classes.'

Meantime, all Ontario college full-time and partial load faculty are invited to listen in on a live webcast today at 11 a.m.

The webcast will be led by Sonia Del Missier, Chair of the Colleges’ Bargaining Team, and Vice-Chair Stephanie Ball.