The Hartford Courant on yesterday’s protest in the Betts House:

More than 100 Yale graduate student teachers marched to the university president’s office Thursday to protest the university’s treatment of women and minorities. Even after the graduate students were told that President Richard Levin was not in his office, they remained in the building and speakers took the floor to air their grievances. The march, organized by the Graduate Employees and Student Organization, was prompted, they said, by Levin’s failure to join other university leaders who have denounced remarks made by Harvard University President Lawrence Summers at a conference last month…Officials for the graduate student organization Thursday called for Levin to weigh in on the issue and charged that his silence reflects Yale’s treatment of women. They noted that there is only one black female faculty member with tenure at Yale and that the university has no female faculty members with tenure in the math department. Less than 20 percent of the university’s tenured staff are women and one of 25 tenured faculty members are black or Hispanic. Besides the scarcity of tenured positions filled by women, many speakers complained that the university’s lack of affordable day care and dependent health care insurance make it nearly impossible to raise a family. Amanda Izzo, a doctoral candidate in the American studies department, said that university officials pay “lip service” to the ideals of diversity, but do little to achieve them. “The more time I spend at this university, the less integrity I see,” she said.

Meanwhile, Levin tries to shoot the messenger:

“GESO has over the years moved around from issue to issue, and their platform has changed dramatically over the years, but their major focus is getting recognized as a union,” Levin said.

GESO has spent a decade fighting for the right of graduate student employees to organize for equal opportunity and against casualization. What Levin and others refuse to recognize is that the right to organize and better working conditions are not competing goals – rather, one is the only way to permanently secure the other.

2 thoughts on “

  1. yo, i’m all for people marching up in rick levin’s face, and their point remains completely intact regardless, but personally i could care less whether levin jumped on the bandwagon to criticize larry summers. and i think that, while it certainly creates friction and a good media hook, it’s a weak accusation on GESO’s part, especially considering what summers actually said. in my view, what should really piss off Yale teachers is the fact that larry summers seems to care more about discrimination, tenure reform, child care, and family benefits than levin. though he’s less jowly.

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