Dozens of students and faculty rallied with passion on the front lawn of Warriner Hall at noon on Wednesday in support of establishing Central Michigan University’s Graduate Student Union. President, founder, and current graduate student, Mike Hoerger, is the man behind the curtain and has been organizing the Graduate Student Union on and off campus for over a year and was available immediately after the rally for an interview.
The Graduate Student Union seeks to be a labor union that works with the university to create a more quality education for all of Central’s students and to improve the university in general.
If university officials agreed to establish the Graduate Student Union, Hoerger says the most significant benefit for graduate students and other beneficiaries would be the access to a healthcare plan.
“I’ve talked to other graduate students and they laugh, in a sympathetic way, to how we’re treated here. Here, our graduate students are living off of food stamps and are eating Ramen everyday. That’s a problem,” said Hoerger.
The rally was organized in an effort to put negative public pressure on university administrators that do not currently support the establishment of such a union for Central’s graduate students.
“Other graduate students that I have talked to have unions like this—it’s not a new idea,” and according to Hoerger, “ The administration just doesn’t care about graduate students.”
Hoerger graduated his undergraduate program at Central in 2004 and was a graduate assistant for four years and is now on an internship in New York. He flew into town for the rally. He plans to continue his work with the union until it is established on campus.