Yale University doctoral students currently earn a stipend of $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full. But a group of those students says this is not enough and that they need “better union benefits.”
To that end, the graduate students announced on Tuesday that they would be going on a hunger strike in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home. However, they seem confused about what a hunger strike entails.
“Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait … until we give up and go away,” announced members of the graduate student union, Local 33. “We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating.”
University spokesman Tom Conroy expressed concern about the students’ harming their health by not eating, stating, “The University cannot compel anyone to refrain from this activity, but strongly urges that students not put their health at risk or encourage others to do so,” Conroy said.
He needn’t be worried because it turns out that the hunger strike is “symbolic,” in nature, and protesters are permitted to leave and get food when they get too hungry.
Nicholas Vincent, chairman of the Graduate Student Assembly, said he was surprised that the graduate students had resorted to a hunger strike. “A hunger strike is a thing that comes to mind for prisoners who are being mistreated,” Vincent pointed out.
— Dimitri Halikias (@DHalikias) April 26, 2017
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