By Deborah Becker
Providence, RI – Some graduate students at Brown University cast votes Thursday and Friday on whether they want a union to represent some teaching assistants and teaching fellows at the school.
Research assistants in the sciences would not be included in the union. That is among the issues raised by opponents. Critics of a union also say they believe they already have other avenues for raising concerns with the University. They question whether the United Auto Workers would really appreciate the concerns of students.
Union supporters defend the UAW. They say it has more experience representing graduate students than any other union. They say representation as organized labor would make it easier to put the concerns of teaching assistants and teaching fellows before the administration.
WRNI?s Deborah Becker spoke with students on both sides of the issue. Lennart Erickson is a graduate student in economics and a member of the group At What Cost. Sheyda Jahanbani is a graduate student in history and a member of the Brown Graduate Employee Organization.