The UC San Diego Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) movement voted to go on a grading strike next Monday during the COLA Walkout and General Assembly on March 5. 86 out of the 92 undergraduate student workers and graduate students who attended voted in favor of the grade strike.
Under a grading strike, Teaching Assistants (TAs) will not submit grades for Winter Quarter. All assignment grades and final grades will be withheld and left blank, with no visible effect on students’ GPA. In initiating this grading strike, UCSD will join graduate students in UC Santa Cruz (UCSC), UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and UC Davis in pushing for wage increases. UCSC and UCSB are in a full worker stoppage, while graduate students at UC Davis are currently withholding grades.
“We believe a grading strike starting Monday is the best option for us to take here,” said Muhammad Yousuf, second-year PhD student and COLA organizer, before the vote took place. “If the university refuses to give in by next quarter, we will escalate to a wildcat [strike].”
COLA organizers emphasized that while TAs will not be reporting grades during the strike, exceptions will be made for undergraduate students who require a grade for financial aid, immigration, or residency purposes.
“The last thing we need to do is harm your livelihoods and your education here at the university,” said Yousuf, directly addressing undergraduate students at the General Assembly whose grades would be affected by the strike. “Simply your grades, which is the product of teaching labor, will be withheld.”
Julianna Domingo is a Staff Writer for The Triton.