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The York University Strike As A Great Opportunity

There was an article published on Thestar.com yesterday about using Facebook to negatively advertise York University in hopes that some bad press might encourage them to solve the problem at the school quicker. You can read the entire article here: Parents use Facebook to put heat on York U..

This is a complete waste of time.

The strike, which began on November 6th, 2008, is a huge opportunity for students that take advantage of what they’ve been given. But all you read in the media is about how badly students are being affected because of it. Here’s a quote from the article:

“Both the university and the union have completely lost track of the fact that this is all about the students,” said Kanzler. “It’s not about them. It’s about 50,000 people who are just in limbo right now – people whose futures are going to be permanently affected.”

Financial issues aside, since many students with OSAP loans will be inconvenienced, the 50,000 people mentioned above that are in limbo right now, will recover. These students are all young, they don’t have a lot of responsibility and saying that they will be permanently affected is a huge exaggeration.

These students have all been given a large amount of time with nothing to do. They have a huge opportunity which they can profit from, or which they can focus their energy in the wrong place and lose out. Let’s pull a quote from one of Seth Godin‘s recent posts about Boundaries:

“I think you can tell a lot about a person or an organization by looking at how they deal with boundaries… When there’s nothing but open space, do you run? Or shrink?” – Seth Godin

If I was a recruiter interviewing a recent York graduate, the first thing that I would ask them would be “How did you use your time effectively and how were you productive during the strike?” Did they stay home? Did they go to protests? Or did they use this freedom to start a new project? Did they invest all that free time to develop their skills?

Josh at the Personal MBA has recently talked about the important of side projects saying “The best way to learn and to grow is to try something new, and nothing helps you learn more effectively than a side project.” Xfcd has also shared how valuable how side projects can be:

11th_grade

I have a feeling students doing great things during the strike is one angle mainstream media isn’t going to cover.

If you had 3 months off, what side projects would you start?

6 replies on “The York University Strike As A Great Opportunity”

I'm one of those 50k students. Looking for a job, but meanwhile contributing several open-source projects.

If I had 3 months off from school I could actually get to finishing (or at least doing a decent amount of work on) these 2 side projects i've been tryin to finish forever…argh

My roommate is one of those 50k people as well, but he was studying for midterms for the first few weeks because nobody knew if the strike would end or not. He was still reading and watching old videos of lectures until it seemed like this strike would last forever…

A lot of uncertainty at the time doesn't really allow one to start something new. How many people can go and get a job on such short notice, which they may have to end up leaving once school returns?

I'm just glad I didn't get shafted for my hard-earned tuition money. If I pay for a product or service I would settle for nothing less than a full refund! When (if) the york students go back, their semester will be such a waste they might as well have gone to a different school by now…

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