Bloomsburg University Faculty Walk the Picket Line

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BLOOMSBURG -- It's the middle of the day and faculty members are picketing outside of Carver Hall at Bloomsburg University.

On a normal day, many of them would be in the classroom teaching, but today they are on strike, fighting for a fair contract.

"It's not the faculty that said bargaining was over. It was the state system that left the table," professor Terry Riley said.

This is the first time in 34 years that the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties has gone on strike.

"I woke up this morning at 7:30 and I had a text from the university saying that the strike was going on. Then an email for one of my professors saying that class was still going to be in session," Bloomsburg student Daniel Brown said.

Most students on campus watched or chanted with the teachers, including nursing major Erin Recupero.

"I've looked over some of the proposals and personally, I just don't think they're fair. I've said to my parents like if I was a teacher, I would be going on strike, too. I think it has to do a lot more than just pay raises and healthcare plans," Recupero said.

On this first day of the strike, one fraternity chose to have a pumpkin smash to raise money for Feed America.

Off campus, signs flashed to warn drivers of extra pedestrians in areas of picketing.

"As soon as they day started, we got out here with our makeshift signs and we're doing what we can," Alex Trezza said.

Vincent Yeager and Alex Trezza stood outside of their apartment shouting along with their teachers. They would rather be in class, but they also want teachers to get a fair deal.

"The teachers are fighting for a quality education, so I mean that's why I'm here. I pay a lot of money to go here. As much as I don't want there to be a strike and I do want to go to class, I completely totally support it," Yeager said.

There is a section on the university's website where students can get up to date information on contract negotiations.

According to university officials, athletic events will still go on as scheduled.

Bloomsburg University will remain open and students are still encouraged to go to class unless they receive an official written notification from Bloomsburg University.

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