I’m lucky enough to be able to take a class with President Shalala, something not everyone gets to do. I can’t imagine any course a former Secretary of Health and Human Services would be more qualified to teach than the one Professor Shalala teaches: U.S. Health Care Crisis. Unfortunately, aside from periods in which we have exams, we only meet 11 times. I get understandably cranky when my time with Da Prez gets interrupted, as happened on Wednesday, April 12.
As we all know, STAND is leading the fight for a living wage and healthcare for UNICCO workers, which is a noble cause. When President Shalala’s work group recommended a nearly three dollar an hour hike in wages, and also that any service contractors be required to offer health insurance, she made it the university’s policy. She should be applauded for this. This was not enough for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Since then, sadly, a hunger strike has taken place. On April 12, about a dozen STAND members stormed my Health Care class, and disrupted a video about the tragic consequences of AIDS. When security tried to remove them, at least one girl started screaming at the top of her lungs. And when several students in the class stated that they were trying to learn, one of the protesters shouted “Learn from this!” Interestingly, no one in the Health Care class signed up for “Lectures on Morality” for this semester.
I am a self-confessed lefty (just check out my facebook.com account). I was in on the founding of STAND, way back when it was called ART. I don’t claim to take credit for getting it established, but I agreed with the ideals, one of which was making liberals not look so damn crazy. A few suggestions for my tree-hugging, pinko brethren:
1. Make friends with a PR major. Making your fellow students angry is not the way to win your crusade. How about a peaceful protest, like silently lining up along the rows with signs? OUTSpoken is great at getting their point across and not making people want to throw batteries at them.
2. Think about the workers, not your r