Hi there! My name is Jae Hyeon Lee, a fourth year PhD student in Physics Department. Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog to learn more about the unionization issue.
The purpose of this blog is to provide arguments against the unionization of graduate students at Harvard. The intended audience is any Harvard student who is part of the proposed bargaining unit for the upcoming election on November 16th and 17th. Everyone who is eligible should vote! More information about the election is found here.
HGSU-UAW, the group of graduate students who want to unionize the student body, often exaggerates the benefits but downplays the potential disruptive effects a union could have on the University community. The Harvard administration has been providing accurate information about unions and the potential consequences of unionization for individual students but many students might still feel that the available information is not sufficient to form a firm opinion and cast an informed vote at the election.
To form a sound opinion on the unionization question, what one needs are not just facts but also perspectives that allows one to understand and critically assess issues surrounding the issue. Without broader perspectives, it is not possible to make sense of the claims made by either side of the unionization politics, which can often be biased or too general. In this blog, I will attempt to provide my own perspectives and explain why having a graduate student union is likely to do more harm than good for most students, is not consistent with the institution’s values, and opens doors to disastrous possibilities for the University.
What’s in it for me? For those of you who are fond of conspiracy theory, I will state explicitly that writing this blog is a completely voluntary undertaking. In particular, I am not compensated in any way by the Harvard administration for writing. I think of this blog as an expression of my commitment to service to the University community, of which I feel honored and privileged to be a part. I believe that when a significant conflict arises in a community, it is a duty of citizens of a democratic society to actively engage in a discourse about the conflict and resolve it in a civil manner. This is my attempt to fulfill that duty.
I hope you find this blog helpful and, perhaps, even enjoyable to read.