Grade Withholding Statement in Support of the Academic Workers Strike
December 12, 2022
The faculty of the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside supports the academic student workers who remain on strike during this historic and unprecedented statewide action. These academic workers, scholars and teachers in their own right, are asking the university to make good on their requests for a living wage to support their communities and families in the state of California, a state with the historically highest costs of living. They deserve not only a living wage, but equitable coverage of other academic and living expenses. They are also entitled to workplace protections in which exercising their right to protest is not met with threats of police intimidation and violence.
We affirm the right of academic student workers to engage in strike activity, which may include picketing, cancellation of sections, and stopping grading. The ETST Senate faculty overwhelmingly expressed their support to stand with the striking workers and heed their call to withhold grade submissions until the strike ends. Additionally, we assert that it is the university’s responsibility to develop contingency plans to ensure that student degree completion, eligibility, financial aid, and good standing are not impeded by struck labor, including grade submission.
We encourage faculty in other departments at UCR and UC-wide to take a similar stand. Systemic changes within the UC system are long overdue, and we support an imminent future in which this is possible.
Wesley Y. Leonard