ramble through the bronx

yes, this here is ramble through the bronx, the continuing musings of a graduate student* who should be writing her dissertation, but honestly, living in new york city there's really so much else to do...

* and her commenting friends. And guest blogger.
[welcome to ramble through the bronx | bloghome
[I wish I was a mole in the ground]
Meredith [>] (NYC/Toronto)
Emily [>] (Brooklyn)
Emily's music site[>]
Jeremy [>] (Bronx)
Ryan [>] (Bronx)
non-NYC people I miss
Jennifer [>] (Toronto)
Tokyo Tintin[>] (Tokyo/Toronto)
Dawn [>] (Ottawa)
Caitlyn [>] (Ottawa)
CBC [>] (my true love)
del.icio.us/janeyjane [>] (my social link collection, alas, not updated lately. I am apparently not delicious)
The Keeper [>] (try it, you'll love it)
comics sites that I check every day
Newsarama [>] (check out the 'blog' section especially)
When Fangirls Attack [>] (women in comics links)
politics, media, and gossip
AlterNet [>]
'Fuddle duddle' incident [>]
The Nation [>]
Catholic stuff
America Magazine [>] magazine of US Jesuits
Commonweal Magazine [>] biweekly magazine of lay Catholics
Karl Rahner Society [>] site dedicated to awesome 20th c. theologian
Liberal Catholic News [>] blog for progressive catholics
Pacem in Terris [>] Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical
music - mostly folk music and banjo links
The How and Tao of Folk Music [>] Patrick Costello's podcasts & banjo & folk guitar instruction
Back Porch News [>]News, Commentary & Links for the folkie community
E-Z Folk [>]Folk music instruction and tabulature
amuse yourself
Piled Higher and Deeper [>] (comic about grad student life)
Cat and Girl [>] just what it sounds like
The Onion [>]
Sluggy Freelance [>]
The Boondocks [>]
Eric Conveys an Emotion [>]
Society for Women in Philosophy [>]
the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy [>]
The Hegel Society of America[>]
North American Fichte Society[>]
Journal of Neoplatonic Studies [>]
Women Philosophers [>]
Brian Leiter's blog [>]
Harper's [>]
Neil Gaiman [>]
Charles de Lint [>]
Making Light [>]
McSweeney's [>]
WFUV [>]
Anti-pedantry page: Singular 'their' in Jane Austen [>]
places I miss
Cafe Diplomatico [>] (Toronto)
The Red Room [>] (Toronto)
The Free Times Cafe [>] (Toronto)
Sneaky Dee's [>] (Toronto... aka Sneaky Disease, best nachos in town)
Kensington Market [>] (Toronto)
College Street [>] (Toronto)
Perfection Satisfaction Promise [>] (Ottawa - formerly the Painted Potato)
Piccolo Grande [>] (Ottawa)
The Market [>] (Ottawa)
Stray cats of Parliament Hill [>] (Ottawa)
other nonsense
Mozilla [>]
Abebooks [>]
Alibris [>]
Metafilter [>]
and thank you
Thanks to Haloscan for blog-comment-ability

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The NYU graduate student strike

...is now in its 24th day, and the administration is threatening to hold striking students' stipends for next TWO semesters if they keep striking. Since the National Labor Relations Board (not a great entity, under the Bush administration) ruled a year and a half (two years?) ago that grad students at private universities couldn't unionize (they were students, not workers), these administration threats are not illegal.

Debate between Michael Palm, the head of the grad students union and a philosophy professor, Paul Boghossian, representing the administration -- Boghossian is a smart guy, very well known in his field (he clarifies some of his points down in the comments section, linked below).

And comments by various folks about what all this means -- interesting stuff, especially coming from the perspective of having been an undergrad at U of T, where UT and York alternated strikes every year or so.

One of the commenters writes:
But Boghossian is certainly wrong to claim that the students aren't workers. These students are doing work that the university does need in the gra.d scheme of things. More than that, if the students are striking, that indicates to me that they either need or truly feel that they deserve more than they're getting. Graduate students are not children, and I'm sure they take their work(indeed, their livelihood) very seriously. $19,000 is a lot of money. About twice what I'm getting in my program. But, NYC is a very expensive city. Between rent and virtually everything else costing much more than elsewhere, I'm sure $19,000 isn't worth much.

But graduate students can eat dust for a few years and come out better in the end, right? Not really. Graduate students are generally in their mid-twenties to early thirties. These people have families. They need money to live, money to save, and benefits to support their partners and children. And, at least in philosophy, it's not a rigorous 2-3 year ordeal. It's a rigorous 6-7 year ordeal. That's an awfully long time to eat dust and pray for good health and fortune. My partner and I have decided it would be foolish to have a child while in graduate school. But many people aren't willing to put their life on hold for 7 years. Why should they? 7 years is a long time. Some people want a family and an academic career. Do we really want to exclude them? Academia could miss out on a lot of brilliant people that way. Still others enter graduate school with one or more children, already. Are the doors of education to be forever closed to these people?
(Selfish reason I care -- I just want to say -- with their previous contract, the NYU grad students got a $19,000 stipend PLUS benefits. I have a $17,000 stipend (it was $15,000 when I got to Fordham, because I had a special fellowship; my friends/peers were making $12,000) and no benefits. New York is freaking expensive. I want the NYU kids to win, for private universities everywhere. Not that I think a union is necessarily the best move for Fordham (that's a long story), but if conditions at the other private universities keep going up, Fordham ultimately has to follow.)

(Non-selfish reason I care -- well, justice. And to stick it to the Bush-appointed NLRB.)

Oh -- addition -- here are some comments from Benjamin Hellie & Jessica Wilson, two new philosophy professors at University of Toronto at Scarborough (how lovely that they have a blog).

jane 9:36 PM [+]

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