Students at "Camp Temple" last week passed most of their class-free days sleeping and their nights partying, riding out a strike by Temple University faculty members which entered its fourth day Friday. Hundreds of Temple students marched down Broad Street Friday afternoon chanting "We want justice, go ahead and bust us" to protest what many called their university's unwillingness to negotiate with teachers, who went on strike Tuesday demanding better salaries and benefits. Traffic was blocked for over one-half hour early Friday afternoon as the students paraded up and down Broad Street, after stopping in front of Temple President Peter Liacouras' office. But the atmosphere in the dormitories Friday was a stark contrast to the frenzy on the street outside. In Johnson Hall, a freshman and sophomore dormitory on Broad Street, the relaxed mood was dubbed "Camp Temple" by several residents. Hallways were filled with the sounds of rock music and General Hospital and the smell of fast-food french fries. Students wandered aimlessly and talked on the telephone. The laundry rooms were packed. "It is like summer camp," said sophomore Michael Politz. "I have been playing football all day and going to parties at night." Politz, who transferred to Temple this year from Towson State University in Maryland, said that there were fraternity parties every night last week. "We are as loud as usual, just more often," he said. Students are supposed to go to class each day to find out whether their class will meet. But many opt to sleep late instead. "I haven't gone to sleep sober yet," boasted freshman Nicholas Lazarkohe. And as they kicked a rubber ball down the hallway outside their rooms, sophomores Kevin Dwarek and Alex Beitler said that they have been getting up after noon each day. The Temple Association of University Professionals, Temple's faculty union, called for the strike to demand a salary increase and to protest the administration's attempt to make teachers pay for a portion of their health-care plan. Graduate student teaching and research assistants monitored some classes for the first two days of the strike. But many joined TAUP on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to gain recognition as members of the local 1199C union. TAUP President Arthur Hochner said Friday that the faculty plans to strike as long as necessary and that union morale is stronger than ever. Despite the party atmosphere, most students said that they hope the strike ends soon so classes can begin. "I am just waiting, I am getting bored off my skull," said senior Clifton Prat, a member of Temple's chapter of Sigma Pi, as he hosed down the fraternity house's sidewalk in preparation for a party Friday night. "There is only so much you can drink."Comments powered by Disqus
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