Tuesday, June 25

Letters


SAGE, lose the ‘gimme more’ philosophy!

Editor:

It’s my fault anyway, so why am I whining about it? I signed
SAGE’s petition last year, in the belief that its purpose was to
act as a collective body to increase communication and
understanding between graduate students and their university. But I
can’t help it, because every time I read their drivel about "the
majority of graduate students" supporting their cause, I am enraged
at my stupidity and naïvete.

Gimme, gimme, gimme. Gimme a free first-class doctorate at a
first-class American university. Gimme a bunch of free money while
I’m here. Gimme the opportunity to teach some of the brightest
undergraduate students in the country. Gimme all that free
experience for professorships and researchships and lectureships.
Oh yeah, and on top of all that, gimme a big say in how much free
money I receive while you’re giving me all this free stuff. And
finally, gimme the right to turn my back on my students and my
research if you don’t gimme enough. Christ almighty, how
pathetic.

So this is it, huh? This is finally what an American university
has become? Einstein, Ramanujum, Russell, please don’t look now.
Our students, our research, our pursuit of knowledge means so damn
little to us that we would strike in order to be paid more to
endure them. And what about you, undergraduates? You’ll just let
them walk away, take three days away from the education that you
paid for? You’ll just let them write their own financial ticket
while your curriculum and services are bled dry? Finally, the most
important question of all: Is this whole damn experience here no
grander, no more ennobling than driving a bus or picking up
garbage? Is there nothing sacred after all?

Oh, forget it. Why am I wasting my breath and your time? It’s so
useless anyway. The "free" exchange of ideas on this campus is so
"free" that I’ll be labeled a mindless, cruel Republican, an
elitist, a racist or (God knows what other articles of defamation).
And I suppose my two years as a TA and my three years as an RA
don’t count for anything, either. Besides, I signed their damn
petition, so now I’m one of their foot soldiers, like it or
not.

So, in the words of another very frustrated and misunderstood
member of our generation, never mind.

Larry Dewell

Graduate Student

Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering

Support the SAGE two-day walkout

Editor:

I’m upset. It now looks for certain that SAGE ­ the union
of UCLA’s TAs and RAs ­ will go on strike for two days during
fourth week. As a fourth-year undergraduate who has benefitted from
hard working and dedicated TAs in a number of courses, I am upset
that Chancellor Young refuses to recognize their union.

Because of the stubbornness of members of the UCLA
administration, many UCLA undergraduates will suffer short term
inconveniences. Nevertheless, I support the right of TAs and RAs to
have a union and the power to negotiate their conditions of
employment.

We like to think that we live in a democratic society. What SAGE
is asking for is respect for their basic democratic rights. How can
we say that we support democracy but not be willing to practice it
here at UCLA?

Chancellor Young can do us all a favor by recognizing SAGE. I am
confident that the university will be a better place for all when
its employees are respected and empowered. Barring Chancellor
Young’s seeing the light in the next few days, I call upon all my
fellow undergraduates to support SAGE’s two-day walkout.

Joan Evans

Psychology/Biology

Fourth-year

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.