‘Eagle-Eyed’: Explaining Boston College’s Graduate Student Union

On this episode…

  • Graduate student employees at Boston College have been seeking a union for the better part of the past three years. News editor Connor Murphy and I stepped back through their journey over that time.
  • There were hundreds of graduate students on both sides of the vote, which concluded at 270-224. DJ Recny, a producer of our show, discussed the election with Colin Notis-McConarty, a graduate student in the history department who was bothered by the lack of debate leading up to the decision to seek a collective bargaining agreement.
  • And I spoke with Michael Harper, a professor at Boston University who is a leading authority on labor law and employment law. He explained why this issue is so divisive, what each side can hope to accomplish, and why many signs point to a predictable outcome.

Some additional background reading…

  • We’re working on establishing a more centralized location for all of our union coverage. Until then, here’s our newest story, here’s our oldest story, and here’s what’s by far the longest story, where we awarded the graduate students at BC our Person of the Year Award for 2016-17.
  • Here’s the BC union’s homepage of information, and here’s the University’s homepage of information.
  • One of the better stories summarizing this issue comes here from The Atlantic. It explains grad student unions’ hazy future.
  • A fairly recent update from the situation at Columbia University, whose union was the one to spur the 2016 decision but has struggled to make progress in the year since. Also check out more stories from Cara Maines, a staff reporter for the Spectator, Columbia’s independent student newspaper, who has covered the Columbia union over the past several months.

Ways to listen…

On your computer: Click play on the embedded player above. You can also navigate to bcheights.com/eagle-eyed to see the latest episodes.

On your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device: here’s the link. You can also search “eagle-eyed” in the iTunes Store to listen and subscribe.

On your Android device: Click here to listen or subscribe via Google Play, here via Stitcher, or here via the RadioPublic app. If you have a favorite podcast app you can’t find us on, let me know.


We’d love your feedback on one of our first ventures into broadcast journalism. Send us an email at [email protected]. Tweet me at @AlecGreaney. Find us at McElroy Commons, Room 113.

September 28, 2017

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