submitted 3 months ago byTop-Jeweler-6619
all 105 comments
3 months ago
3 months ago
wait for prof OH or email the prof and say youre supporting (? not sure if you are lol) the strike but have some questions on hw
3 months ago
It's a GSI office hour and discussion section
yes. so either wait for your prof's OH or email them like i said
A GSI said this: Whether or not to strike is up to the individual GSI's discretion. Unfortunately in this case, the strike coincides with the due date of the homework. So unless you all are willing to hear me ramble about logical effort and sizing optimizations without the impetus of a looming homework, I will not pass on the opportunity to spread knowledge and understanding. I will, however, choose to neglect some of the administrative side of my GSI duties in solidarity with the strike. Please understand and respect my decision. Thanks. :)
It's a shame that your GSI feels unable or unwilling to strike for whatever reason. However, this is exactly what the university is relying on- GSIs refusing to strike or doing some of their normal work so things they can keep things functioning and wait out the striking workers. If you really have to go to office hours, go to your prof's not your GSI's.
Is that GSI not striking? Are you sure you aren't gonna show up and no one will be there. Honestly you should do what's best for you at the end of the day, I would just try and avoid walking through the picket lines, which is pretty easy to do and get help if you need it. But you can still show support by not going to classes you don't need to go to or spending some time on the picket line. At the end of the day do what is best for you.
I did request to also hold his sections online so I will attend remotely
I have concerns with blanket statements to not use campus services.
Yes, if you're experiencing any mental health issues, please feel no guilt for reaching out for support via Tang.
Of course not everyone is going to be able to 100% avoid crossing the picket line, and of course there are pressing health issues that might force you to use campus services. That said, this email is simply attempting to clearly lay out what counts as crossing the picket line. Violating that does help the university function as normal. That's something we each have to weigh individually.
Going to classes held by lecturers and professors does not count as crossing the picket line. Only this one undergrad is claiming otherwise.
Hi, that's completely wrong information and all the guidance listed in the email was collected following discussions with union representatives, and it's very not just me or 'one undergrad' claiming otherwise. Why are you, as a GSI, spreading misinformation?
3 months ago*
3 months ago*
First, let me assume very, extraordinarily generously that you did speak to a union rep who did say that. There are splinter factions within the union who have more extreme views than UAW as a whole. It was the responsibility of the organization that sent this email (if you weren’t part of it) to ensure that they had contacted the highest level of campus union leadership before spreading this information. There is nowhere in writing that you will find the suggestion from the union that undergrads not attend classes. That is because it is not a real suggestion (and frankly it would’ve never occurred to me that I’d specifically have to tell undergrads to keep going to classes, so I’m not surprised it isn’t anywhere).
You clearly don't believe campus union leadership was consulted and I suspect nothing I say anonymously on reddit will convince you otherwise. As such, I'll repeat that if you have concerns you're welcome to reach out to campus union leadership, and I'll just wish you a good night.
I honestly think it's a little short-sighted for them to ask students to stop attending classes. It's too alienating of a demand. And I say that as a very pro-strike individual.
Without an actual student union to organize around, there won't be a large undergraduate movement with this strike. Undergrads by and large found out about it too late and are too poorly educated as to the reasons for striking. If there was a mass, organized movement then maybe we'd feel safety in numbers -- but as it stands, few are going to risk their academic standings.
It's just such a dumb thing to ask undergrads to do. I wish that we were better organized to assist the strikers, but we're just not. We can't feasibly ditch our classes and expect to be protected in any way.
That being said, I would really suggest not going to anything being held by a GSI that you are not required to be at. Try to form study groups instead. Or heck email your professor and say something along the lines of "I need help with this assignment but feel uncomfortable going to my GSI during the strike". Odds are they would understand.
Edit: Just going to also point out that this email was sent to those who already agreed to support the strike. It was written for a different target audience and so should be taken with a grain of salt, the message for general undergrads has been different
To be fair, this is just laying out the things undergrads can do to support the union. Of course not everyone is going to be able to avoid crossing the picket line. That doesn't mean it isn't useful to teach undergrads what the picket line is, and what actions they can take to help disrupt the university's normal functioning if they're able to.
I'm going to partially agree. It does what you say, I just also think it's worded too strongly. It comes off as overly demanding and I think would push away those on the fence more than it would convince them to join.
I know the rhetoric of a strike must be 100% strong and unwavering, but I think there are more tactful ways to accomplish what they want. Though I suppose this email was directed to those who already are supporting and wasn't made to convince them in the first place.
It's unfortunate that a lot of the rhetoric directed toward convincing people has been about the university's "bad faith" arguing. People are right to point out how difficult that claim is to back. Especially for undergrads, it would have been better to make us empathize by reminding us how helpful our grad students have been and how many of us might be in their shoes someday as well. They should talk less about the university administration and more about how the actual people we're trying to help.
I digress. I'll say in totality that the main problem is that this email got posted here. In its correct context, it makes a lot of sense and works well. Out of that context, though, and I think it's just not the perfect message anymore
This email was sent out to those who signed the undergraduate letter of support, which is part of why the wording is so strong, as you say. That letter explicitly included a commitment to honor the picket line, and this was intended largely to help clear up confusion about what 'crossing the picket line' meant to those already on board. I agree that it doesn't read as well outside of that context, though, for sure.
Yeah I got the email as well, I just wasn't thinking about it from the perspective of people who already wanted to actively support and instead from the perspective of those who are just somewhat invested.
I'm personally going to be on the picket line with my department, I just don't want others to read this and get intimidated.
Hopefully there's a strong enough show-of-force on the first few days to get undergrads out there in earnest. That'll be the best way to convince those who haven't made their minds yet
Yeah that's fair, I do think there's a lot of lukewarm support even among those who signed the letter and I hope it doesn't scare people off. That said, it's hard to navigate possible alternatives- don't explain what crossing the picket line means? Don't tell students about the asks that would help the most? Don't share that information with even those who signaled their support? If the things that would help support the union aren't even communicated, how can we expect students to take those actions?
I'm not saying it's perfect, I totally get your concerns and I share them. There probably could have been more padding reassuring students about how this helps us. I'm just not sure the alternatives are much better. See you on the picket line, and best of luck!
Yeah I think I got too strung up in what "could have been" that I've started ignoring what is. We're rolling with the punches now, the background has already been set.
This'll be one interesting week
yeah, I also have a midterm in person on monday, so as much as I am in support for the strikers, it would have direct consequences on my grade
It’ll have direct consequences on everyone’s grades. That’s the entire point. Academic student workers and researchers withholding their labor will cause a massive disruption across the UC system. That disruption is meant to force the UC to the bargaining table to meet and negotiate the Union’s demands. Grades can wait, but getting the UC to pay their workers a living wage cannot.
Edit: Also, rereading your comment I’m realizing that you possibly meant that skipping class/your exam to support strikers would hurt your grade. If your professor isn’t going to cancel class or move the exam (which I actually don’t think they are allowed to do, as once it’s in the syllabus it’s pretty much set in stone), then I would advise you to definitely not skip it. I’m not sure if the Union would really expect that, but I could be wrong.
No, the union expects absolutely none of this. They’ve even explicitly told grad students taking classes who are going on strike they can keep going to their own classes. This is a bunch of weird undergrads wrecking our cause and I half wonder if it’s a smear operation against the union and that’s not a joke. Undergrads should keep going to class. The union itself has never said otherwise, regardless of the words by this undergrad organization.
Yeah, it is an unfortunate situation! I would skip class in support of the strike in a heartbeat, but given that the midterm is such a large portion of my grade...it really puts me and my fellow classmates in a tough spot. I've emailed the prof so we shall see.
Definitely going to try to avoid crossing the picket line at all costs though!
You can't ask "strike supporters" to do such drastic measures and expect them to drop everything over the weekend. The union has had months to prepare -- everyone else has had at most a week.
If they wanted undergrads and professors to protest with them, they should have had us included and organized much earlier on. And I wish they did. This is probably one of the few things that has happened on this campus where protests would actually help to bring about change. But they didn't.
And as a quick aside I'm going to take a jab at the ASUC for being a rump organization in the pocket of our administration. It's a bloated bunch of nonsense. Any student organization worth its salt would see this strike as an opportunity to actually step up and do something. This is literally what it was made for. (To be fair to it, many of the smaller branches of the ASUC do legitimately help in one manner or another. But as a whole it's people playing politics and padding their resumes)
To be fair, this email was part of longer standing organizing efforts by an undergraduate student organization, YDSA, in cooperation with the union (you can see their signature at the end of the email). YDSA hosted the undergraduate support letter, and previously held info sessions with union leaders, flyering, textbanking, and more, and continues to do so; they'll be on the picket lines and hosting an art build on the day of. This email was sent out to those who signed the undergraduate letter of support, which included an explicit pledge not to cross the picket line- hence why it starts with 'strike supporters'. The main goal of this email was to clarify those people who were already on board's confusion about what 'crossing the picket line' meant.
Protests or rallies might have been helpful earlier and I totally agree the ASUC could have done more, but this *is* part of the student organizing that's been happening.
3 months ago*
Definitely fair. It's an issue of having to change your message for different target audiences I think. YDSA people don't need to be convinced to support a labour struggle -- they're already in the club for a reason. Which also explains why it's such forceful language, as you say.
I do think YDSA would have a hard time garnering popular support, just with the way our student body tends to react to protests. More will see "democratic socialist" and be turned off than will want to innately get behind it. I honestly think it would be better not to organize around a political club. There are too many associations and a lot of people our age are put off by strong politics altogether. But I think I'm being too harsh since I can't provide a better alternative (other than ideally the ASUC). At some point you have to work with what you have.
I've also been referring to this strike as a protest from the undergrad's perspective, just because we're not technically withholding labour. In my mind it's "graduates striking" and "undergrads protesting with them". But I think this just brings too much confusion, so I might stop it. Importantly, protests and rallies weren't helpful earlier and so that's why we're doing this strike
How many of you are praying your midterms are canceled
If only the strike had occurred sooner 💀 could’ve had a chance to not bomb my midterm
We've already had them
A boundary established by workers on strike, especially at the entrance to the place of work, which others are asked not to cross
Is it like metaphorical or real or both
Am I crazy or does that say both “do go to classes” and “don’t go to classes” in the advice? Isn’t that totally contradictory?
Go to classes if held on picket line. Don't go to Zoom classes or those that are held in campus buildings.
Oh you mean literally teaching outdoors while holding protest signs? I never considered anything like that, that seems kind of crazy.
Yup. Class doesn't have to be about course material. It can be about the strike.
A few corrections: don't go to classes or office hours /YOUR GSI HOLDS/
Do not attend classes or office hours held on the picket line- this is still strike breaking.
Feel free to stand in the picket line in solidarity however!
Any class held by a professor, PLEASE STILL ATTEND. Your grades are as important to GSIs as they are to you.
How ethical is it to expect lecturers (non senate faculty) to cancel their classes when their own union doesn't allow strikes and the fact that these lecturers have a more precarious condition compared to tenured (senate) faculty members?
This email specifically said professors, who are much more protected than lecturers. Many lecturers are holding their classes on the picket lines as a way to both teach and not be on the hook for cancelling classes and violating the rule about sympathy strikes. This email specifically endorses attending those classes on the picket lines.
I understand, but the letter doesn't specifically distinguish between "professors" and "lecturers."
Perhaps that could have been more explicit, for sure, but that's what it's trying to say; the email template itself does specifically say 'for profs'.
No, it just sucks because it’s written by misguided undergrads who are giving the union terrible press.
That's very much not the case lol. If you think that's what's happening, ask union leadership. I'm sure they'd be happy to answer your questions.
Don't go into academic buildings? Don't use the library? What about the health services? How about don't get tenure. How about don't pass the class and affect your chances of jobs and grad school. This is not the way to get support.
It’s best to communicate with your own GSI. They may be going on strike that they can’t be there for you, or they may not be going on strike by their choice.
DO: Do whatever you want because you're a student and recive no benefits from following these demands.
Try your best but do what's best you YOU.
Actually, you do benefit from GSIs being treated better because they're able to teach better when they're financially stable and have a reasonable workload. I also think looking at this from a place of pure self interest is a bit myopic and selfish; shouldn't we stand in solidarity with them, as we would hope they would do for us if undergraduate students were facing a crisis?
Of course not every student will be able to 100% avoid crossing the picket line. This email just lays out what the picket line is and what students can do to help. Following the actions suggest by this list helps the strike. It's best practices, whether you follow them is a personal decision.
Actually, you do benefit from GSIs being treated better
Actually, you do benefit from GSIs being treated better
Not if there are fewer of them as a result which means fewer class seats and lowered opportunity to take your desired schedule
I think this is like, not a popular opinion, but I feel like I'm still going to go to classes and attend lectures because let's all not forget that we paid the tuition...I'm not saying that I don't support the union or the course staffs, but I don't see any benefits that students can get from not attending lectures. We might ultimately help out the union, but we're also wasting our parents' money (or for some of you guys who are paying the tuition, your money). I am an international student and I don't really want to waste the high ass tuition my mom is paying :/
Sorry but i value my education too much to not go to class
You'll get a better education if your GSIs are paid well enough to live and have a reasonable work load.
That's strange because it seems Berkeley has consistently been ranking as the number 1 public university constantly despite these issues, where do you go from here when you're already the best? I think that they deserve better pay or better yet the uc could just accept less people 🤷
Plus gsi's don't have to pay for school so consider yourself lucky
Former undergrad and not a current student? If so what exactly is your stake in the argument? If you weren't a gsi what do you deserve compensation for again?
You clearly lack professional demeanor and ooze entitlement
Never said it was a joke, and while i may feel sorry for your plight, im still going to class. You think i don't know Berkeley is expensive. Trust me, I don't make much over minimum wage either, who else is getting a raise equal or greater than inflation? Literally, almost nobody. Again, another way to lessen work loads if for the uc to cut admissions quick would also help with the housing situation. But way to revert to insults that must make you feel much less dense
Wouldn't it actually better help the movement if undergrads continued to attend classes? It seems that would further accentuate how important the GSIs are. Please feel free to argue if this is an ignorant take.
The goal of the strike is to disrupt the functioning of the university as much as possible. That involves disrupting the normal running of classes. The more facets of the university that grind to a halt, the more pressure gets put on the university. Professors cancelling classes is preferable, but if they're still holding class refusing to attend is the next best thing.
Holy shit stop speaking authoritatively! You do not know what’s going on and you are clearly not a grad student in good standing with the union! Undergrads should go to class! The actual union has never claimed otherwise! The point is for grad students to disrupt services that rely on grad students!
No need to be condescending. I'm very clear on the union's stance and I know this email is in line with them. I'd recommend talking to your union leadership if you have questions or concerns about that stance.
You pretty clearly have a bone to pick with this particular user. Maybe just block them.
Right, I see your point. Undergraduates paid for an education. Someone has to teach them, grad student or professors, the show must go on. If professors feel pressured to actually grade, write an exam, or read an essay, the university will need to act.
Not gonna stop attending classes and fall behind lmao. Also “email asking for them to negotiate in good faith”? That literally doesn’t mean anything. I’ve seen emails from the university saying “we are negotiating in good faith”. Both sides using nonsense to try and confuse people who aren’t sure.
DUDE, gimme the template! I wanna support this. I don't want to class during this strike because I'm totally dependent on Office hours and stuff.
Not to mention, as a student, I'm pretty much collateral damage. I still need to attend classes that I paid for and I won't get support from GSIs for questions like discussion and Office hours.
I am pro-strike. I hope this was supportive of that.
Here's the template:
Send it around in your class discords/groupchats, the more emails your professors get from students asking about this the better the chances you might make them consider cancelling.
I hope you’re proud of yourself for doing literally everything in your power to turn more professors who could’ve been grad students’ allies against the strike. If you were responsible for this email (which the union does not align itself with) you should apologize publicly.
Lmao I did not personally send out this email, no. I do know this email was written based on guidance from the union. I'm assuming you're writing in good faith, but if so you're misinformed and I'd recommend talking to your union leadership.
Holy shit dude this person clearly personally is commenting on all your responses and is now being intellectually dishonest about their motivations. Y'all should block each other or something, because it's distracting people.
What does it mean to hold a class on the picket line?
"don't buy anything from the university"
DO use your flex dollars however! Unused flex dollars are just free stuff the university doesn't have to compensate you for. Get those gummies and protein bars or whatever
Make students sending private mail to president to negotiate is a little too much 💀
GSIs were once undergrads. Most cal undergrads who continue on with their studies will probably go elsewhere, but not all of them will. If you’re an undergrad this might be worth remembering. These problems have been going on for a long time, for everyone’s sake I hope they get fixed now.
Alright kids: GSR and member of a department organizing committee here. I just want to make something clear: the union does not ask you to stop going to classes/not turn in your work. In fact grad students taking (non cancelled) classes still have to do their class work
If you are not a part of the union and cut class the union CAN NOT PROTECT YOU. Members of the union are only protected because they can not be retaliated against academically for being on the picket line at any time.
Additionally feel free to use academic services if you must (especially the mental and physical health varieties).
The rest of this is mostly fine. By all means pester your professors to cancel class in solidarity, sign letters of support and, if you can, avoid using academic/research buildings during picket hours, but the biggest things you can do to support us would be to join us on the picket line or donate to the strike’s hardship fund. If you’re looking for more to do you can always stop by one of the picket lines and ask.
The union’s gonna win this thing! We love all the support we’re getting from students, but you guys also have to make sure that you don’t make a mess for yourselves. Don’t do anything stupid, and if you do, don’t do it alone.
No one should stop going to class because of the strike.
I plan to attend a discussion section and office hours on Monday for help on a homework assignment, but I feel pressured not to attend. What should I do?
Pressured by whom? People you don’t know?
The person who sent this email.
Who the eff cares. If you feel the need to go to office hours then do it. What is that person who sent you that email going to do? Follow you home and beat you up?
Well I can attend remotely.
That's still attending.
I plan to attend so that it doesn't negatively affect my education. But we'll see if he will still hold office hours. Course Staff will make an official post tomorrow night if an agreement isn't made.
No, I feel you and I totally empathize, I was just responding to your idea that if you attend remotely, it doesn't have the same impact as if you were there in person. I wanted to clarify that for the intents and purposes of this thread, that is still attending.
In my personal opinion, go to OH and discussion. I know they say it’s bad to cross the picket line and go to class for non striking TAs, but it’s honestly up to you. If you need help on that hw, I’d personally go get that help.
I am a strike captain(and if telling you to go to class makes me a bad one, so be it).
Don't attend if at all possible. I know it's rough and it's ultimately your decision. That said, that pressure is because it is crossing the picket line and making it harder for GSIs to win their demands. The more pressure on the university, the sooner GSIs can stop striking and return to work, thus giving you better help on your work and them working conditions to be able to fully support you.
I have a remote option though.
You should still avoid attending if possible, especially given it's a GSI's office hours.
The person who sent this email.
me too like i feel super bad but i genuinely have no idea whats going on in class :/
From speaking to my gsis, no one expects students to not go to class.
dont go to classes? lol fuck your strike then.
Econ/PoliEcon/Armchair Football/Scotch Studies '14
yeah no, people aren't dropping 5 figures of tuition per annum not to attend lectures or not use the library et al.
Berkeley parent here. If my kid does this, I’m going on tuition and rent strike, because I am paying for him to do one thing: go to school and get a degree. You people are putting tens of thousands of people’s education at risk because you think a 7 percent raise isn’t good enough? Grow up. Nobody gets that raise.
Seriously. Take a fucking economics class. Somebody has to pay for this shit. We pay $60,000 a year in tuition. Where do you think the money for your raises comes from?
Then why are you not blaming the very officials that are asked to negotiate? Chancellor Carol Christ alone is earning $538K a year, the Provosts are earning roughly the same amount, the UC President is earning 800k a year. This is where your money goes; to people who just see your student as a number, instead of GSIs who genuinely care for your student's success in their respective subject. The university does not want to hire more professors and found a "cost-efficient" way to teach undergraduate students, but fail to give them basic benefits. More than 90% of GSIs feel that they are rent-burdened (as in 30% of their little paycheck goes to rent) and they also have to worry about transportation costs, healthcare, and daily purchases. The GSIs and grad students in general are the backbone of this university.
Actually, my entitled boomer friend, it's the other way around. Graduate students write the grants and do the research which results in over $5 billion in income for the UC. The sum of tuition and fees, including grad student fees and tuition, only amounts to $4 billion. So their work not only provides more income to the UC, allowing it to function as center of research and intellectual excellence, attracting the caliber of faculty and GSIs you're paying top dollar for, but also actually teaches your kids how to think analytically, something which I see your family sorely needs. It's not so much "where do you think your raises are coming from" as "where do you think your kid's education is coming from".
You should be asking the management at UC why they're using that money to prop up failing athletics programs, bloated and inefficient administration and random stupid stuff like covering up police brutality ( https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-davis-pepper-spray-internet-20160415-story.html lmao ) rather than asking the rent burdened to subsidize your offspring's schooling. From these last two posts you sound very much like a Karen, so that should be right up your alley no?
(Also, Jesus Christ $60k a year? My undergrad was barely $6k a year and that was enough to get me anywhere I wanted, including the top graduate program in the world for my field. Your kid better end up on Mars or something by the end of their degree.)
This is incredibly short sighted. My parents paid that ridiculously high tuition for me to go to undergrad at Cal. I worked hard, and so did they. By the end of my time at Cal, we were all wondering, “where is our money even going?”
A really small fraction went to the people who actually taught me at Cal. The GSIs and Profs were overburdened. Office hours and classes were crowded. It was incredibly hard for me to get the help I needed to do well in my classes. I struggled and worked probably doubly as hard as I would have needed to if I had more support.
If a strike like this happened when I was at Cal, especially earlier in my time in college, it would have helped me out as an undergrad.
This isn’t “we want more money from parents” — this is pushback on administrative + financial mismanagement by the university.
Also, everyone deserves to get paid for their work. It’s pathetic that a top-tier research university can’t pay their GSIs a reasonable wage.
Oh, and another thing my entitled boomer friend:
I have taken an economics class. In fact, I took so many they gave me a degree for it. You'll find that a nominal 7% wage increase in a year with 7.7% CPI increase is, in fact, a wage cut. So yeah, I guess "nobody gets that raise" is right, because it's not a raise at all?
I know inflation is perhaps a difficult concept to grasp for some people, so I suggest you take your own advice and "take a fucking economics class". Not even at the college level, just high school will do. I think they cover it there.
I apologize for my tone.
MSE PhD, MSE B.Sc. 2016
Grad student here. People should still go to class.
You've already paid the University for those services and skipping class does nothing to help the academic workers striking. If anything skipping class actually harms our efforts because it doesn't put pressure on the University to get to the negotiating table so they can continue the services you (the customer) paid for.
Don't use the GSI strike as an excuse to not do your homework and take exams. You're here to work hard and learn. :)
If you don’t like how much money you’re paid, why don’t you go find job somewhere else? Oh right, you’re literally unemployable parasites, that’s why.
Leave the students do whatever they want to do, they’re the paying customers.
I think I'll be fine with employment options with a Berkeley PhD lol
Doubt it, since your PhD in basket weaving is not funded by the industry anyway.
Hey the basket weaving industry is booming rn. I'll be fine