Yale grad students laughed off Twitter for ‘symbolic’ hunger strike — they can only eat if hungry

A hunger strike by some Yale University graduate students is sure to make their fellow snowflakes proud.

“Eight members of the graduate student union Local 33 began an indefinite, collective fast in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home on Tuesday in an effort to persuade Yale to begin collective bargaining,” the Yale Daily News reported.

“Yale wants to make us wait and wait and wait … until we give up and go away. We have committed ourselves to waiting without eating.” Local 33 Chair Aaron Greenberg said at the rally in New Haven, Conn.

There was one small distinction with the hunger protest, however.

A former Yale student tweeted a copy of a pamphlet explaining that the hunger strike was “symbolic” and participants could leave when they could no longer continue.

Doctoral students at the Ivy League school currently receive annual stipends of $30,000 or more, free health care and fully paid tuition – which is nearly $40,000 a year, according to Yale News.

“Over six years, the total cost of support equals nearly $375,000 for a single Ph.D. student,” Yale News reported.

The symbolic hunger strike by eight members of the graduate student union was meant to pressure officials to negotiate for union recognition.

A video posted by Local 33 painted a dramatic picture of the importance of the fast, quoting people like co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Dolores Huerta and vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, Maria Elena Durazo.

University spokesman Tom Conroy told Yale Daily News that the union bargaining request was premature and the hunger strike was “unwarranted by the circumstances.”

“The University cannot compel anyone to refrain from this activity, but strongly urges that students not put their health at risk or encourage others to do so,” Conroy said.

But being allowed to leave a hunger strike when hungry seems not to pose much of a great health risk. Social media found plenty to say about the effort, mocking the “sacrifice” of the Yale graduate students on Twitter.

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Frieda Powers

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