Last updated in April 2018
Why every eligible voter needs to vote on April 18th and 19th: If the union forms, then it will represent all graduate students regardless whether you voted for it or not. A low voter turnout rate among students can lead to electing the union by fewer than half of graduate students who would be in the union. Once a union is elected, a low voter turnout can mean that a minority can determine whether to authorize a strike or approve a contract.
As a very recent example (4/13), fewer than half (1958/~4000 < 50%) of Columbia University graduate students in the UAW bargaining unit voted to authorize a strike; the opinions of the rest of the student population didn’t matter.
If the union forms here at Harvard due to a low voter turnout, then the same minority group could authorize strikes and approve contracts as long as the majority remains unengaged with the union.
This points to how unrepresentative the HGSU-UAW could be in practice despite the oft-cited two-thirds vote required to approve a contract or authorize a strike, which misleads many students to believe in the robustness of the student union democracy.
General Greeting: Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the issue! I hope you enjoy reading the blog and provide me with any feedback, comments and/or suggestions that you may have. If you like what you read, please LIKE the associated Facebook page and share the blog with your friends. And make sure to vote on April 18 and 19, 2018! (Please see below for maps of two main voting locations.)
My latest arguments against HGSU-UAW can be found in 2018 Election Arguments which include video interviews with various administrators.