Life's Like That: Lack of buses means it's time to band together

When the rumours about the buses shutting down first began to hit the halls of Fanshawe, I really did not believe what I was hearing. I began to wonder if they could do that, and worried about how I was going to get to school and getting around in general as I couldn't expect my boyfriend to be a taxi driver.

When the strike actually happened I was full of resentment and anger and found myself thinking that these bus drivers are selfish and ruining my life, and that going to school is going to suck now I'll be so tired just getting there I'll be lucky if I learn anything. When I heard that the strike could last until January, I began thinking about all the negatives and how this situation was going to affect me.

Finally after much self-pity, I came to the realization that we students are not the only people affected and really don't have it all that bad. Now I know at this point, some may be thinking what's wrong with this girl? I came to this conclusion when I began to think about social structure and distance. You see for the vast majority of students, the distance between where they live and the school in reality isn't that far at all. I live towards Colborne, the walk is somewhere between 25-40 minutes. Is it annoying? Yes of course, will it kill me? No of course not. Is it physically possible? Yes, of course and for that I am grateful. When I think about social structure and networking I feel students have the best opportunity to do that. What I'm trying to say here is, stop complaining and start talking to your classmates, friends, begin comparing schedules, offering incentives like a coffee to those who drive.

To people with cars I remind you that you did not always have a car and you know how the shoe feels on that other foot. Fanshawe like all colleges and universities should be thought of like a community and that in a crisis we should band together and help each other, remembering everyone has at least one common goal of getting to school and attending classes.

The people I am most concerned about are not students like myself, but those who are socioeconomically challenged trying to support families and paying bills without the assistance of mommy and daddy or OSAP. I think about these people and wonder, what will happen to them and will there be serious job loss? What about their children? I mean you see so many parents on the buses with strollers these days.

Now some people may argue that they can walk like the rest of us or get a cab. But chances are if you have a family and you're taking the bus because you don't have a car, and the money they do have probably is just getting that family the basics and can't really be put towards cabs.

Think about how annoying it is to be walking around all the time, can you imagine a young child or children having to do the same because a cab is out of mom's and dad's financial reach? Breaks my heart but it's true, or think about the senior citizens without pensions and safety nets and living on a fixed income, without a loving son, daughter or extended family to assist them in their daily lives.

Although we as students are being inconvenienced having to walk outrageous distances in some cases to get to school, it is the already disadvantaged people in this city who are truly suffering.

Initially I was mad at ALL the bus drivers for this strike; however, after talking to many of them in the days before the strike, I realized that some really wanted to continue working as they have bills to pay and it's getting close to Christmas. Regardless of what individuals want, if the vast majority of people within a union votes a certain way, than everyone regardless of personal beliefs must abide with what the union chooses to do, in this case strike.

As difficult as it may be, try to remember bus drivers are people too. They are in entitled like the rest of us to stand up and fight for something better as we would should the tables be turned.

To those who drive think about others and what you may be able to do to help, because at the end of the day everyone at school wants to arrive on time to attend their classes.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.