Thanks to genpaul for this tip: The following is a letter from international graduate students at NYU to President Sexton. The letter with the most current list of signatories will be sent to NYU President Sexton on Wednesday, December 7th at 12pm. To add your name and department affiliation to this letter please email inyupetition@gmail.com ========================================== December 7, 2005 John SextonPresidentNew York University This is in reply to your letter of November 28, 2005, stipulating the deadline of December 5, 2005 for striking Graduate Assistants to return to work or face the consequences of loss of stipend and ineligibility to teach for the following two consecutive semesters. The undersigned are international graduate students: some have withheld labor since November 9, some have continued to work, some others do not have teaching or research obligations this semester. Among the undersigned, those who have continued working have been influenced in their decision by direct or indirect intimidation. Out of those who are striking, some will return to work and others will not. Those returning to work will do so in fear of the legal and financial consequences that the implementation of your threats may carry and not at all out of agreement with your arguments. Those who continue to strike will do so in spite of those possible consequences, and in full awareness of the particular risks entailed. But we are all equally outraged and will not be silenced. We, as international students, feel especially vulnerable to your antagonizing, intimidating and outrageous threats. Many of us have had to deal with increasingly restrictive U.S. immigration policies, enhanced surveillance and record-keeping and with hostility when being questioned by immigration officers. Some of us have suffered the threat of deportation. Thus, we are concerned with maintaining our legal status in this country. NYU has stated that our legal status is not in danger, yet the administration is fully cognizant of the fact that our student visas are contingent on our continued status as full-time students and our ability to cover our living expenses, which in turn depends on our stipends and salaries. Our status prevents us to a great extent from working outside campus, as well as from applying for external grants and loans. If loans in US dollars were granted to us by NYU, as the administration has proposed, it would be extremely difficult to repay them when we return to our home countries. We were invited to this institution to study and work and we came eagerly, expecting to find an environment of respect and mutual consideration conducive to academic advancement. But the administration's recent threats to our well-being have significantly harmed our confidence in NYU. Such a loss of confidence can be reversed by the administration. Under the current conditions we cannot encourage prospective students from our respective countries from coming to NYU. By refraining from doing so, we are following the lead of faculty from NYU and other prestigious institutions. A good part of NYU's strength comes from its international students. Hence, the administration's present position weakens the institution as a whole. We all share a commitment to academic integrity and the rights of workers, as well as a deep belief in the possibility to resolve conflicts through amicable negotiations. We therefore support the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) and will continue in various ways to argue and fight for a reasonable contract for our labor. NYU was the first and only private university in the United States to recognize a union of Graduate Assistants. That was unprecedented, and laudable. NYU now threatens Graduate Assistants with actions detrimental to their finances and careers. This is also unprecedented, and deplorable. We therefore strongly condemn these threats as signaling a sharp decline in NYU's intellectual and ethical position in the academic and labor community. We believe that the administration can easily rectify its unethical position and palliate the antagonism it has created by withdrawing the threats and dropping the ultimatum. It is NYU's ethical responsibility to recognize the rights of workers and to engage in the constructive dialogue that has made this university an outstanding academic institution. Sincerely, Waiel Abdelwahed, Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesMariana Amato, Spanish and PortugueseMagali Armillas-Tiseyra, Comparative LiteratureAnurima Banerji, Performance StudiesClarissa Behar, FrenchDiego Benegas, Performance StudiesClaudio Benzecry, SociologyLeslie-Ann Bolden, SociologyPaola Bonifazio, ItalianAlexandra Borer, Institute of French StudiesMichiel Bot, Comparative LiteratureNathalie Bouzaglo, Spanish and PortugueseLina Britto, HistoryElda L. CantĂș-Castillo, Latin American and Caribbean StudiesIpek A. Celik, Comparative LiteratureElizabeth Chavez, Latin American and Caribbean StudiesWei-chi Chen, HistoryTeresa Colombo, BiologyValeria Coronel, HistoryHector Martin Crocce, PhysicsM. Zeynep Dadak, Cinema StudiesSantiago Deymonnaz, Spanish and PortugueseMunir Fakher Eldin, Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesRong Fan, PhysicsMiao Feng, HistoryCarolin Hagelskamp, Community PsychologyEllen Xiang He, Comparative LiteratureMatthias Heymann, Courant InstituteKatharina Ivanyi, Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesPablo Jercog, PhysicsJelena Karanovic, AnthropologyYilmaz Kocer, EconomicsDavid Koffman, Hebrew and Judaic Studies, HistoryMonika Krause, SociologyAzra Krek, PhysicsFrederic Laliberte, Courant InstituteSanghyuk Lee, PhysicsPia Leighton, Spanish and PortugueseChristophe Litwin, FrenchMariano Lopez-Seoane, Spanish and PortugueseSudhir Mahadevan, Cinema StudiesAldo Marchesi, HistoryMorad Masjedi, PhysicsSilvana Melitsko, EconomicsLina Meruane, Spanish and PortugueseAl Saeed Momin, Courant InstituteAlessandra Montalbano, ItalianGulseren Mutlu, EconomicsOsamu Nakano, HistoryJeppe B. Nielsen, FrenchRachel O'Connell, EnglishAlan Page, EnglishYaakov Perry, Comparative LiteratureMarco Polin, PhysicsStĂ©phanie Ponsavady, FrenchSebastian Pueblas, PhysicsStephen Russell, Hebrew and Judaic StudiesMarco Scalvini, ItalianJenny Shaw, HistoryMariano Siskind, Comparative LiteratureFederico Sor, HistoryYi Sun, Comparative LiteratureGail Super, Law and SocietySmita Tripathi, Spanish and PortugueseAristotelis Tsirigos, Courant InstituteBasak Tug, History, Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesZ. Umut Turem, Law and SocietyJavier Uriarte, Spanish and PortugueseAlejandra Uslenghi, Comparative LiteratureYeliz Utku, ChemistryAgnes Veto. Hebrew and Judaic StudiesEmily Wilbourne, Music Fellow GSOC members support their international brothers and sisters, and deplore NYU's decision regarding the specific consequences it set for striking GAs. The administration intended such consequences to be born unevenly among our ranks, and is thus taking advantage of the international students' vulnerable status in order to break our solidarity. President Sexton, we won't be broken!