- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2017

A group of Yale University graduate students are engaged in a “symbolic” hunger strike — rumbling stomachs may be filled with food — for better benefits.

Student union Local 33 began a “collective fast” in front of University President Peter Salovey’s home on Tuesday. News of their efforts for collective bargaining reached CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday when a former student shared a pamphlet given to participants.

“Update: the Yale grad student union is holding a *symbolic* hunger strike (they eat when hungry) Still inspirational,” Dimitri Halikias of Brookings’ Center for Children and Families tweeted on Wednesday.

“Yeah that’s not really how hunger strikes work,” responded Politico Editor in Chief Blake Hounshell.

“I eat when I’m hungry too but I don’t call it a hunger strike,” wrote Mr. Tapper.

A university spokesman told the school newspaper on Wednesday that students’ “Fast Against Slow” is “unwarranted by the circumstances.”

SEE ALSO: Yale may ditch ‘freshman’ for gender-inclusive ‘first year’: ‘It’s an antiquated term’

“A hunger strike is a thing that comes to mind for prisoners who are being mistreated,” Nicholas Vincent GRD ‘17, the chairman of the Graduate Student Assembly, added. “I think it’s not outlandish to say that they’re putting themselves in considerable harm for this.”

The Washington Free Beacon noted on Thursday that Yale doctoral students earn “a stipend $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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