“Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.”

The excellent Roger Kimball emailed this morning a link to his post, Annals of Academic Fatuousness, Yale Edition, Part 9876. Roger, who completed two Masters’ degrees there, knows Yale University well.

As it turns out, eight departments of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences belong to Local 33, a subgroup of the international labor union UNITE HERE.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

I remember my days as a graduate student, when I completed my assignments while commuting from Convent Station, N.J. to New York City where I worked full-time. I remember the dreary lives of innumerable friends working towards Masters or Doctorates, or working as post-docs in the natural sciences under conditions best described as indentured servitude. Just the idea of any of us lowly beings unionizing would likely have resulted in expulsion.

That was the 20th Century for you.

Graduate students then, almost.

The unionized Yale students are going on a hunger strike because

Local 33 and Yale are currently engaged in multiple legal disputes and have not begun any official negotiations. The University’s request for review of an NLRB decision that allowed Local 33 to hold elections in nine separate departments remains pending in court.

Yale’s legal team is also attempting to file a request for review, which would challenge an August NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities qualify as workers.

Rather than wait, the students are engaging on a virtual or symbolic hunger strike.

What the hey is that?

They. Eat. When. Hungry. While on “hunger strike.”

I could rant about how disrespectful this use of the term “hunger strike” is to human rights’ activists who endanger their lives in oppressive Communist regimes, but instead was struck by this from Roger’s article,

these aging snowflakes already get free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.

Graduate students now.

Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend? For that much money I’ll sacrifice myself and study “Political Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures.” Heck, I always wanted to learn Japanese.

Am I too old to apply?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.