Wright State senior is daughter of striking faculty member

Published: Friday, February 08, 2019 @ 10:33 PM

Student is daughter of striking faculty member

It’s nearly Day 19 of the Wright State University faculty union strike.

On Friday, faculty union members arrived at the Statehouse in Columbus, asking for help ending the stalemate.

» RELATED: WSU faculty asks for state leaders to get involved in contract talks

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Back on campus in Fairborn, one student is caught in the middle and has a unique perspective on the strike.

“As a student, it’s been chaos. We’re all kind of frustrated,” said Wright State senior Charlotte Berwald.

She is studying childhood education and has had two classes already canceled: the two she needs to graduate in May.

She said students are being bombarded with information from the university. 

» RELATED: What will it take to end WSU strike? A court order could do it

“We’re trying to figure out what to believe, who to believe, who to trust and it’s very frustrating for us. We know our professors are there for us,” she said. 

Complicating the issue is that her mother, Kirsten Halling, is among professors on the picket line at Wright State. She teaches French and has been with the university for almost 20 years. 

“I just give her the ultimate highest level of respect because it is such a difficult job to be a professor in this situation right now,” Berwald said of her mother. 

» RELATED: Wright State board votes on new contract offer, faculty union calls it a ‘stunt’

This week, the university held advising sessions for students worried about the education they’re getting. Some of the classes are being compressed into smaller time frames just to meet requirements. 

“We’re all just trying to get through and get the education that we paid for and that we deserve and I feel like a lot of us are not receiving that right now,” she said. 

Berwald said she thinks students are down the middle when it comes to the strike. She still feels the need to defend her mom. 

“I have a hard time not interjecting and saying, ‘hey, I hope you know where the union is coming from and why they are doing this.’” 

» RELATED: Wright State students continue sit-in outside president’s office into second day

Earlier this week, students held a protest sit-in outside WSU President Cheryl Schrader’s office. She has agreed to meet with the students on Monday.

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