Letter: GA’s need solidarity

By Gus Bode

Dear Editor:

In response to Charles Groce’s column, I can only say that our problems as GA’s are our own fault. I am also disappointed with a lackluster contract. As a union member, I am not positive that I will be voting in favor of it. However, what I am sure about is that it is the lack of solidarity among my fellow graduate students that is largely responsible for this lackluster contract.

While I do not know Mr. Groce’s vote on the union election, I know that many who voted yes did not join the union. This is evidenced by the paltry membership numbers. The union returned a less than perfect contract because we the graduate students handed the administration the most powerful bargaining position. We gave the administration the ability to do this by not showing solidarity with our fellow students and joining the union.


The administration is spending like a 16-year-old with mom and dad’s credit card. This is evidenced (among other things) by Saluki Way and the new recreation fee associated with it to clean up the mess. I would not be surprised if more fees to pay for this muddle-headed project are on the way.

The fact of the matter is that fees are rising. We could have exercised solidarity with our fellows for a better deal, but we didn’t. The blame for any raise in hours, for any net decline in pay, for any problem whatsoever with this contract lies on those who did not exercise solidarity.

Mr. Groce tells us he wants democracy. Well, democracy involves voting, but it also involves being an active agent working toward democratic goals. Labor solidarity is one of these goals.

Justin Bell

doctoral student studying philosophy