Friday, April 6, 2001


A large skeleton puppet, carried by three University of Hawaii
strikers, drew attention yesterday as it was marched
down University Avenue.

Sounds of silence
pervade UH campus

Some students worry that
the strike could cancel
the semester

By B.J. Reyes

Business during the week is usually brisk at the Faith Riding Co. surf shop in the University of Hawaii's Campus Center.

But on a day when the university's 3,000 professors were on picket lines rather than in front of chalkboards, things ground to a halt across most of the campus.

The surf shop was no exception.

UHPA HSTA strike logo "It's dead," said cashier Aaron Gold. "The only people going to class are the grad students, but it's really dead."

Students who did make it to campus showed up for campus jobs or to attend classes being taught by teaching assistants.

Others took advantage of their mostly empty surroundings to study, read or pull up a chair with a good view of the large-screen TV in the Campus Center.

"The ones that are here are just kind of wandering around," Gold said.

The usually bustling campus was reduced to what seemed like a ghost town, with classroom buildings mostly empty, cafeterias barely in use and only a handful of students seen on campus at any given time.

Although there weren't many people borrowing books or using the copy machines, sophomores Rynel Lastimado and Alison Oasay still showed up for their jobs at Sinclair Library.

Both said they made it past picket lines without incident, though Lastimado said she received a few sour looks.

She said she believes the professors deserve a raise, but by coming to work, "it feels like we're not supporting the faculty."

Both said they were concerned about a prolonged strike that could end up canceling the semester.

Freshman Matthew Hanabusa echoed that sentiment.

"Now I might have to take summer school for classes that I shouldn't have to take," he said.

He added that although he had not been following day-to-day coverage of the contract negotiations, "I didn't think it would come to this."

J.N. Musto of the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
updated faculty picketers at the Church of the Crossroads
yesterday afternoon.

Someone who is following the daily progress of the contract talks is Walter Strach, a graduate student in Asian studies. Strach is scheduled to receive his degree in August and will leave for a job in Thailand on May 15, and he must complete his research on time to graduate.

"If the strike continues past Monday, it'll become critical for me," he said.

>> HSTA Web site
>> UHPA Web site
>> State Web site
>> Governor's strike Web site
>> DOE Web site

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