Impact of Tube Strike on Students

On Wednesdays, Allison Mullen usually has her Encounters in Humanities class, but last week, she wasn’t in class. Was she skipping class, sick, or on a trip to Amsterdam? Two of those options could have gotten her deported. The real reason was because of a London Underground strike that caused the cancellation of all Wednesday classes.  

On Wednesday, March 15, the workers of the London Underground went on strike.  Ten thousand of The National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers (RMT) members went on strike over a dispute about pay increases, job security, and working conditions. The first day of the strike was March 15, 2023, with another strike on Saturday, March 18, 2023. According to Transport for London, commuters should plan an extra hour for their trips when there are strikes. 

With this advice and because AIFS would not be opening their buildings, the DMACC professors made alternative arrangements in advance so that students knew that there were no regular classes on March 15. “We have to do online study because it is too much work to get everyone to class on these days,” said Mullen. “I welcome the class cancellations because I will be able to catch up on my homework,” Mullen said. With the semester in the back half, more and more homework and projects are coming due. The strike allowed students a day off to get homework done or to continue to procrastinate.   

Another student in the study abroad program, KyLeigh Mohr, said, “I prefer having the discussions in class and not online. It fits my learning style better when we discuss in class rather than through an online assignment.” Several other students in the program also said that online class is not their preferred learning method. The students would rather have in-person discussions on what they read for class than online discussion boards. The strikes, however, made it almost impossible to hold class in person last Wednesday.  

Exploring is a huge part of the study abroad experience, which was also on hold. “My roommate and I like to explore the city when we have time. Today, we cannot go into central London, and we have to explore more around where we are staying because of the Tube strike,” said Mohr. There are plenty of cool spots like cafes, pubs, and attractions to explore in West London, where most students live. However, more exciting attractions like museums, musicals, and open-air markets are located in Central London. With the Tube lines not available, going to those attractions would take double the usual amount of time.  

Why wasn’t Mullen in class? Well, her class had been canceled because of a strike by the London Underground rail workers. Class cancelations are only a part of the impact of the London Underground strikes across the city.  

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