Yale Graduate Students Continue Hunger Strike Over Union Negotiations | Connecticut Public Radio

Yale Graduate Students Continue Hunger Strike Over Union Negotiations

May 3, 2017

A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night for eight graduate teaching assistants at Yale University that began a hunger strike a week ago. The students started fasting in an attempt to pressure the university into union contract negotiations.

Appearing weak, the group sat in wheelchairs in front of the home of Yale President Peter Salovey after knocking on his unanswered door.

Aaron Greenberg, chair of Local 33 - Unite Here and one of the fasters, said he's tired, but not ready to give up.

"I’m willing to take it as long as it makes sense for me personally and medically," said Greenberg. "We’ve been checking in with nurses everyday."

Supporters join Yale graduate teachers for candlelight vigil marking one-week of fasting.
Credit Lori Mack / WNPR

More than 100 supporters holding candles marched silently behind the grad students as they were led away in wheelchairs. 

In a statement, Salovey said his primary concern is for the health and safety of the students. He urged them to reconsider taking actions that could be harmful to their health.

Some students, who disagree with the protesters, recently held a barbecue nearby. But the fasters said overall they've received a lot of support, including a surprise visit from singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, who stopped by before her performance Tuesday night at College Street Music Hall.