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Yale Graduate Student Union Holds A Symbolic Hunger Strike Which Is A Hunger Strike But They Can Eat When They Are Hungry

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Yale Daily News - Eight members of the graduate student union Local 33 began an indefinite, collective fast in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home on Tuesday in an effort to persuade Yale to begin collective bargaining.

Local 33 Chair Aaron Greenberg GRD ’18, Co-chair Robin Canavan GRD ’19, Camille Cole GRD ’20, Charles Decker GRD ’18, Lukas Moe GRD ’19, Julia Powers GRD ’19, Emily Sessions GRD ’19 and Jifeng Shen GRD ’18 sat onstage at a rally on Hillhouse Avenue to commence the union’s “Fast Against Slow.”

“What Yale could not stop, they are cynically trying to slow,” Greenberg read from a pamphlet distributed at the rally. “Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait … until we give up and go away. We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating.”

Nicholas Vincent GRD ’17, the chairman of the Graduate Student Assembly, said he was surprised that Local 33 had resorted to a hunger strike and expressed hope that the eight students participating would receive proper medical supervision.

“A hunger strike is a thing that comes to mind for prisoners who are being mistreated,” Vincent said. “I think it’s not outlandish to say that they’re putting themselves in considerable harm for this.”

Now THIS is my kind of social movement.  I’m always so turned off by the extremes.  Like I’d love to participate in fighting some of the injustices in the world, would be happy to pitch in and join my fellow humans making their voices heard for the things they believe in.  It’s just…it’s such a process.  I’m just not a commitment guy you know?   Racism and bigotry and police brutality are all worthy causes to take a stand on, but like, I get hungry. I get super cranky when my blood sugar drops too low.  I’d be no use to anyone out there chanting and and waving poster boards in the air if I’m laying down on the side of the street moping because I’m starving.  But these Yale guys, inventing the hunger strike where you don’t actually have to go hungry??  The fast where you can actually eat if your tummy is growling too much?  Awesome.  Leave it to Yale geniuses to beat the system.  The perfect blend of caring to make a difference, but not caring TOO MUCH so as to inconvenience yourself.  Gandhi and Bobby Sands would be proud.