When we first came to Columbia, neither of us was planning on helping form a union for graduate workers—far from it. We came here to pursue our respective interests and move our research forward. In fact, our stories up until this point were very different: Olga grew up in Russia, is currently working toward her Ph.D., and has worked as a teaching and research assistant in the department of civil engineering and engineering mechanics. Justin is a native of the Northeast, pursuing an MD/Ph.D. at Columbia while working in a cancer research lab funded by the National Institutes of Health....
As active members of GWC-UAW Local 2110, we were heartened to read the Spectator editorial board’s trenchant call for Columbia’s administration to honor the results of our unionization vote. The editorial board rightly asserted that honoring the results of a fair election is “a matter of democratic principle,” not one of pro- or anti-union opinion. Now, the semester is winding to a close and another graduation approaches and we wonder: Will Columbia’s actions this spring live up to the ideals proclaimed in May’s speeches, ceremony, and circumstance?...
Letter to the editor: Voting 'yes' for unionization at Columbia to improve the international student experience
By Mostafa Mobasher, Olga Brudastova, Sandra Chiritescu, Tania Bhattacharyya, Andrea Lottarini, Evangelos Atlidakis, and Takaya Uchida
As international graduate students, we have been deeply disappointed by the Columbia administration's extensive efforts to convince us to vote "no" on unionization. We find it troubling that administrators would try to suggest that the United Auto Workers will work against our interests, when, in fact, we chose to work with the UAW in part because it has "consistently advocated for immigrant and guest workers to receive equal treatment and for expanded opportunities for international graduates of our universities to work lawfully after graduation."...
By Mel Abler, Medini Annavajhala, Olga Brudastova, Ellie Buenning, Oscar Chang, Alex Dang, Noura Farra, Troy Hodges, Chris Kedzie, Gonzalo Muñoz, Zhenyu Shou, and Sai Sunku