To the Editor:
An elected GESO officer just informed me that I’m a hypocrite. Six months ago I wrote an op-ed piece for the Yale Daily News (“Grad students don’t have anything to whine about,” 4/24) stating that although I’m poor enough to have my wife and children on the HUSKY health care program, my family is happy with my role as a bread-winning graduate student. He told me that labor unions either supported or were instrumental in passing the legislation to provide the state’s poor with HUSKY.
So, he reasoned, I owe my allegiance to unions and therefore to GESO. He wondered how could I not support graduate student unionization when my economic status is so dismal. Well, I will repeat what I stated last spring: I chose to attend Yale as a graduate student knowing full well the economic hardship that my family would endure. I chose to be married and have children here at Yale. No one has forced this upon me. Additionally, I do not believe that I am an employee of Yale. And finally, for me, the diploma that I will receive is worth all of my hard work.
By GESO’s logic, since Thomas Jefferson founded the United States Military Academy in 1802, and since I am a graduate of West Point, I should extol Jefferson and all for which he stood. I appreciate what Jefferson did for me, but I am not proud of him having owned slaves. Likewise, I would like to heartily thank all those who helped create HUSKY. But to any labor unions who helped it along, sorry guys, I don’t want to be in your club. If that makes me a hypocrite, then so be it.
J. Kenneth Wickiser GRD ’05
October 30, 2002
The writer is a representative of the Graduate Student Assembly.