PHILADELPHIA -- While most of the nation's college students are on holiday break, hundreds of students at Temple University are still in the classroom, making up for time lost during last fall's four-week faculty strike.
"It stinks," said Stuart Cottee, a junior majoring in political science, as he sat in a geography class one day last week. "We could be doing other things, but we're not."
"It's depressing," said Adriana Van Zwieten, a senior majoring in history whose mid-year graduation was postponed by the strike. "We'd all rather have finished last week."
"I had holiday plans, but a lot of things just had to get pushed back," said Joseph Sokolowski, another senior, who is scrambling to finish four classes so he can graduate in late January.
Many Temple professors are just as unhappy, especially about the monitoring system set up by the school's administration to make sure they are teaching the classes that did not meet during the strike.
Each day, secretaries and other staff appointed as monitors roam the halls with computerized class lists to check whether professors are in their classrooms and holding classes. The results are passed on to the deans of colleges within the university.
To a faculty schooled in the traditions of academic freedom, the monitoring smacks of totalitarianism.
"Welcome to the gulag," said Robert Weinberg, a prize-winning physics teacher, as he greeted a visitor to Anderson Hall last week.
"A lot of us feel like we are working in a minimum-security prison," said Jeanne T. Allen, an associate professor of radio, television and film. "We are allowed to walk around, but we can't leave."
Temple administrators said the monitoring is essential to ensure that students get the course work they missed during the 29-day strike, which left an estimated 26,000 students without at least one class. Six-thousand students had no classes during the strike.
"It's terrible to be a dean of a highly respected, large college and to have to get monitoring reports," said Lois Chronholm, dean of Temple's College of Arts and Sciences, the largest of the university's 11 colleges. "But this is one of the many sad consequences of the long, unsettled strike."
The strike, which began on the first day of class Sept. 4, ended Oct. 3 when a judge ordered the faculty back to work. But there is no negotiated settlement, and faculty members are working under contract provisions unilaterally imposed by the Temple administration.
Normally, all Temple students would have ended their fall semester classes Dec. 12. But under an extended calendar adopted by the administration after the strike, students in courses that did not meet during the walkout are to attend class through Jan. 15.
It is unclear, however, exactly how many striking professors are holding class and how many students are attending.
Some professors who went on strike said they made up the lost time during the regular semester and so are ignoring the extended calendar. Others are scheduling class but have advised students they need not attend. Others are holding class as usual.
Pat Bradley, an associate professor of journalism, said she intended to help students in her courses review for final exams, which are Jan. 16 to 19. But she refuses to hold regular class sessions because, like other striking professors, her salary already has been docked and the university has provided no makeup pay for teaching during the extended semester.
"I don't work when I'm not paid," Bradley said.
Susan Stewart, a noted literary theorist and poet who teaches in Temple's English department, said she already has made up the lost class time and now sits in an empty classroom just to meet the university's requirement that she show up for class during the extended semester.