‘No funding for NYU!’ grad students demand

Graduate student members of UAW Local 2110, forced on strike since Nov. 9 by New York University, traveled to Albany Feb. 28 to lobby state lawmakers to withhold taxpayer dollars from NYU until it agrees to negotiate in good faith with the students. NYU grad students were the first to unionize at a private university. After an NLRB ruling saying private universities were not bound to recognize graduate student unions, NYU began a union-busting drive. The students have refused to back down.

Spring break union-style

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has announced “Union Spring Break 2006,” a five-day program to encourage and train college students for union organizing. The students will learn union basics in classrooms and “on the streets” in three cities — Detroit, Oakland, Calif., and Albany, N.Y. The union says young people are important in building the labor movement. Seventy-eight percent of 18- to 34-year-olds believe unions can make a difference today.

Boot camp for counter-recruitment

“Not Your Soldier: Counter-Recruitment Boot Camp” will be set up in Chicago by the American Friends Service Committee, March 10-11. The camp will help young people develop their political organizing skills to rid their campuses of U.S. military recruiters.

Camp activities include building a counter-recruitment float for an antiwar protest March 18, a movie night and strategy sessions.

For more information call (312) 427-2533.

Teen mayor takes on town challenges

Between going to prom and doing homework, high school student Michael Sessions, 18, is mayor of Hillsdale, Mich. The youngest mayor in the U.S., Sessions was elected as a write-in candidate this past year.

Attracting media attention, including a spot on the David Letterman show, Sessions is using his position to encourage more young people to get involved in politics.

“The hardest part is speaking in front of my home school — I’m up there, feeling like I’m about to puke,” Sessions said during one of his road trips.

But Sessions’ biggest challenge may be bringing jobs to a community that has been hit by plant closings. Hillsdale has lost a flour mill and hundreds of auto supplier-related jobs recently. Its downtown has dwindled because a nearby Wal-Mart has lured customers, according to a city official.

YCL to hold Midwest conference

As part of the run-up to its 2006 National Convention in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Young Communist League will hold a Regional Conference in Saint Louis, March 25-26, to help shape its strategy. The three main points of discussion will be peace, jobs and education. For more information, e-mail docia@yclusa.org.