Grad Student Strike Still On

The UIC grad student strike is still on, I’m afraid. As one of my colleagues posted on FB today: “Our graduate students are still on strike. Campus haggled over $10 in healthcare fees and $35 on international student fees for HALF a day today. I don’t even know what to say.” Gah.

UIC has spent a LOT of money on capital projects in the last few years. Shiny new buildings make school boards feel good, and I’m not saying they’re not worth something — it’d be hypocritical for me to claim that, given that I’m in favor of the major renovation we’re planning at OPRF, where I sit on the board.

But you have to also invest in your human capital — grad students’ teaching conditions ARE our students’ learning conditions.

I don’t cross picket lines, so I’ll be teaching remotely today (Monday). But I plan to discuss during class what we want do for the last two classes of the semester Wed & Fri. I’ve gotten an e-mail from our grad students offering some alternatives to online teaching (class outside, for example), because they’re worried that without more faculty and undergrads on campus, visibly protesting, they won’t be able to get more movement from the administration.

And once the semester ends, of course, the administration has much less motivation to make changes, so they’re running up against a deadline this week. Some options might involve class outside, for example; we’ll talk about it today.

If you’re a UIC undergrad and you’d like to sign on to an undergrad letter of support for the grad students (which is entirely up to you, of course), you can do so here:

https://docs.google.com/…/2PACX…/pub…

I’ve already signed letters of support for both my departments (English & Global Asian Studies), of course.

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