This semester, the NYU administration has “terminated the fellowships” of striking graduate students–in truth, terminated pay, but that would be admitting that they are employees of the university and not apprentices.
In response, the Graduate Student Organizing Committee has set up a Hardship Fund to support strikers, whose srike benefit will fall short of covering expenses, especially in New York City. Specifically, the monies will go towards indispensable expenses such as health care, utilities, and rent for those who have lost their pay.
The strike, as many of you know, centers around the recognition of a graduate student union, in this case GSOC. In its essence, it is a fight over the right of grad students to organize and represent themselves. Cosma Shalizi has perhaps best summed it up: “[U]nions can ask for stupid and/or selfish things, of course — which distinguishes them from any other organization how, exactly? — but the merits of particular proposals isn’t the issue here; punishing people who attempt to organize to exert their rights is.”
If you support that right, I urge you to donate to the Hardship Fund if you can.
(For those of you who don’t know or know little about the strike, these three earlier dispatches by Asad, who is on strike, lay out the background and the issues at stake.)