To the Editor:
I am dismayed to learn that GESO members intend to strike in March. I began graduate studies at Yale in 1991 and soon became a GESO member, joining union demonstrations in front of HGS. After a short while, however, I became disillusioned with GESO, its goals and its heavy-handed rhetoric, and so I chose not to be a member. Teaching as a graduate assistant at Yale took tremendous amounts of time, was detrimental to work on my uncompleted dissertation and was financially unrewarding, to say the least. And guess what? I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.
At the time of the infamous grade strike, I was one of around 12 teaching assistants for a large history class; my colleagues co-signed a confrontational letter that they presented to the professor, while I declined to take part in their actions. It felt awkward at the time, but it also felt right.
I strongly urge all graduate students who are not part of GESO or who are GESO members but are in conflict with GESO leadership or uncomfortable with the strike’s impact on undergrads to follow your consciences and continue to hold sections. There is a lot of peer pressure among graduate students when it comes to university politics: don’t be browbeaten into succumbing to that pressure.
George Krompacky GRD’95
February 21, 2003