Amid Harvard Grad Strike, Survivors Hold #TimesUp Rally

Harvard grad student strike day 3

(Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.(WBZ NewsRadio) — As the Harvard Graduate Student Union's strike went into a third day, a #TimesUp rally was held by survivors of sexual harassment and discrimination.

The union said the rally aimed to "address the toxic culture that enables perpetrators of harassment and discrimination at Harvard, why the the Harvard community does not trust the current resource process, and why student workers need real protections in the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW's contract with the university."

Harvard Graduate Students Go On Strike - Thumbnail Image

Harvard Graduate Students Go On Strike

The graduate students have been on strike for days, claiming that the university refuses to give them fair pay, comprehensive health insurance, and protection from discrimination, sexual assault, and harassment.

"Harvard University has ignored charges of sexual harassment and discrimination against its student workers for decades," the union said.

The union referenced sexual misconduct allegations against former government professor Jorge Dominguez. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last year that 18 women had accused Dominguez of sexual harassment between 1979 and 2015. The former professor was then stripped of his emeritus status after the article came out, according to the Harvard Crimson.

"A year-long internal review called it a 'deplorable situation' and 'prolonged institutional failure,' yet the Administration continues to refuse to offer the protections that student workers are calling for," the union said.

Strike organizer Sejal Singh said that students shouldn’t have to worry about a lack of action, retaliation, or a stalled career if they file a complaint with the university.

The union wants allegations of sexual harassment referred to a neutral third party, according to Singh.

“The idea is that there would be a neutral third-party arbitrator who could look at the evidence, that people could trust, and who could resolve these complaints,” Sing said.

Among those supporting the striking students was Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who tweeted that the students "are paving the way for a future with economic dignity for all workers and protections against harassment and discrimination."

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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