‘Twas a good week for me. There were no death threats. My transcript was not tampered with. No comp-sci grad students stole my identity. (Although I did lose my driver’s license. Has anyone found it?) In fact, I’ve received nothing but hugs and romantic propositions. (Isn’t that why people write scene columns in the first place, Greg?)
For lack of a better explanation, I will accept the absence of opposition to the column last week as a statement of the Yale population’s complete agreement, not as a sign of the YDN’s waning influence.
Just kidding — sort of — I think —
If any of y’all are new, this week’s diatribe might be hard to follow. If it’s not presently clear, the author supports Locals 34 and 35, emphasizes a distinction between GESO and real unions and, above all, seeks to disband GESO. And, one last order of business before we advance to the fun stuff: let us review the basic ideas we discussed last week and proved to be entirely true without exception:
1. Grad students are — GUESS WHAT? — students, not employees.
2. Even if we pretended that grad students are employees, a majority of the GSAS would never vote to legitimately unionize GESO through the NLRB as the bargaining representative of grad students.
3. GESO members have no valid justification for their bloodsucking alliance with Locals 34 and 35.
4. GESO converts are disillusioned brats.
Ok, now that we’re on the same page, let’s move on to more pressing matters —
The votes have been cast, and it appears that the strike is upon us. The masses can no longer remain indifferent observers, or even pissed-off inactive observers. Everyone will face the same questions and have to make informed decisions for themselves.
Hopefully, students won’t simplify the important questions into 1) “Do I support the unions?” and 2) “Will I cross picket lines?” The real questions are multi-layered and thorny:
“Which unions and/or organizations do I support?”
Locals 34 and 35 represent different groups of Yale employees with unusually diverse goals and beliefs for unions. However, the commendable philosophy behind striking is power in numbers: ‘If we, as a unified group, deny our services, enough so to halt the gears of our employer’s establishment, our just demands will be heard and met.’
So the more you split hairs over relevant concerns, the less weight your support provides.
“Even if I support Locals 34 and 35, how I can I help their cause without getting tangled up in GESO’s web of lies and deceit?”
Yeah, that’s a toughy. For one, don’t sign any pro-union petitions with ambiguous language and allotted space for your contact info. Seriously, you might have been on of the 77 students that filed a formal complaint against President Rick for allegedly ordering the detainment of pro-union protesters during parents’ weekend. Who knows? Also, let your dining hall worker and custodian friends know if you support them and not those slimy leeches that suck the vitality out of their cause.
The distinction between unions and grad student organizations is still blurred in the eyes of too many students, employees and leftists.
“What constitutes crossing a picket line when some workers’ domains are ambiguously defined?”
Or more simply put:
“Am I crossing a picket line by taking a dump in my dorm bathroom?”
The main conflict here is that some hardcore revolutionaries consider the act of entering any area that custodians clean to be crossing their virtual picket lines. So this includes residential college common rooms, public bathrooms and, most relevantly, classrooms.
Holding this view means that you can’t both support custodians AND cross GESO picket lines. All solutions to this problem are sticky, so just stick to your guns, trust your instincts and know that secret cameras don’t record your every move — well not in non-bathroom locations, that is!?
P.S. Dwight Hall is on campus and cleaned by disgruntled custodians.
So if you refuse to have a lecture moved to the Trumbull common room, don’t host a “neutral-zone sleepover protest” on Old Campus.
“What will the various picket lines be like? And what is the protocol for crossing them, if I choose to do so?”
Well, I have no idea and can’t help you with this one.
What I do know is that the GESO picket lines will be neither intimidating nor effective. Remember, only 600 out of 2300 grads are reluctant card-carrying GSUCKERS, 30 percent of which didn’t even vote for a five-day strike. How can 420 gung-ho GSUCKERS prevent all lectures, sections, seminars and screenings from meeting on a campus of, what, 4977 anti-GESO undergrads (that’s 5000 students minus 23 revolutionnaires)?
And let’s face it, you won’t have to shove through a human barricade of ginormous teamsters with sweaty biceps and thunderous voices that portend great pain on your horizon.
We’re talking about a few scattered circles of malnourished, fallen-fruit vegans with bad eyesight and flat feet. Don’t get your hopes up my undergrad brothers, spring break won’t start early this year. The great majority of classes and sections will meet on campus. Unless 34/35 and that one law student who likes GESO are planning to lend a hand, you will not have to cross a GESO picket line.
So there it is. Unlike last week, we haven’t arrived at any conclusive truths. You gotsta make up your own minds, fools. So for the remainder of this column, let us distract ourselves with fun strategies for crossing the hypothetical GSUCK picket lines:
Designate a time to enter Commons, not to eat the gruel that scabs prepare, but rather to collect the Aramark ultra-short shelf life fruits and vegetables. We can stockpile our ammo in Beinecke Plaza for the improbable event that a sizable group of GSUCKER’s — i.e. one that merits rotten produce — actually tries to shut down WLH.
Or, if the GSUCKER’s gobble up the fallen fruit, we can always go for their glasses.
When grad students delay their theses long enough, the prolonged strain on their eyes produces a condition that some modern physicians refer to as blindness.
Without their tortoise-shell glasses, they are nothing.
Or, if their eyes prove healthy, throw your textbooks at the GSUCK picketers. Clearly, the concept of intellectual integrity is lost on those who try to cripple the academic workings of a stellar university for a small raise and a yearly check-up at DUH.
Ok, that’s all for now. Peace in the Middle East.
Joel Resnicow is a senior in Pierson College. He hereby challenges GESO chairwoman Anita Seth ’05 to write a substantively intelligent and whimsically insulting response to this column. He will accept silence as a declaration of GESO’s surrender and immediate disbanding. He is gravely serious in posing this challenge.