From the Columbia Spectator: The shrill whistles and drum beats of the Graduate Student Employees United picket line woke residents on 116th Street yesterday morning, as hundreds of graduate students, undergraduates, and supporters marched outside Columbia University's Broadway gates demanding union recognition for research and teaching assistants. ...A New York Police Department officer estimated that 400 to 500 marched over the course of the morning. At noon, members of various other unions on campus joined the picket lines, and the strikers then marched in the gates and around campus... Dahlia Runco, CC '07, had two classes canceled: Italian and University Writing. While she said she appreciates the unanticipated free time, she is worried about how the strike will leave her class unprepared for exams. "I'm glad that we have time off, but it puts us at a disadvantage for the final," Runco said. Many of the strikers expressed similar regrets about canceling classes. Susan Kart, a graduate student in the Art History department will not teach her Art Humanities class for the duration of the strike. "I started talking to my class last week about contingency plans," she said. "A lot of the students told me that they were concerned about missing class. I told them that we are all disappointed too ... I'd rather be in class teaching Picasso." But she, along with hundreds of other teaching and research assistants, demonstrated that the issues at stake were important enough to justify their actions. Many of those walking the picket line said that one of their most important reasons for striking was showing support of their fellow graduate students.


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