Least Sympathetic Cause Ever
I would hope NYU wouldn't need so substantive a reason to cease acknowledging a GSU. If union's have a valid purpose, it is to obtain a living wage for those who have no bargaining power, either because of a lack of education, inelastic job market, or some other market-related perturbation which gives employers the ability to pay less than competitive wages.
No one has to attend graduate school. Graduate school is a privilege, not a right. As it stands, most graduate students receive a tremendous amount of money from universities such as NYU, and I'm not talking about their sizable teaching stipends or health insurance benefits. Rather I'm talking about the massive tuition break they receive. I'm 95% certain this amounts to more than 50,000 a year at NYU, given professors' salaries and the amount of attention graduate students receive.
I cannot stress enough how unsympathetic a group graduate students are. Schools pay graduate students to learn subjects they presumably love, yet all these GSUs seem capable of, it seems, is bitching and moaning. If you cannot afford graduate school, get another job. If you cannot juggle another job and graduate school, look for scholarships. If you cannot get a scholarship, get a private loan. If you cannot get a private loan, drop out.
Why graduate students deserve more money from graduate institutions is anyone's guess. Should they receive more money at the expense of undergraduates? Should junior faculty be paid less? Certainly the evil "corporate criminals" running NYU should be paid less? After all, they've done nothing but raise billions of dollars to satisfy the needs of faculty and students. How dastardly! How despicable!
Perhaps the GSU's point is a symbolic one. (Given the AFL-CIO's presence, the point of this rally is perhaps merely to extend the influence of unions into higher academics.) They are simply trying to promote the cause of unions, to shift the balance of power from capitalist pigs toward hardscrabble laborers - if graduate students can even be characterized as laborers and college administrations as capitalists.
To this, one can only reply, "To what end?" Who cares where power lies? Are unions good in themselves? Of course not. They are good or bad depending on their consequences, so let's hear some arguments along those lines: What will happen if NYU no longer recognizes the union? If NYU recogizes the GSU and the GSU uses its increased leverage to obtain more benefits for graduate students, who will receive less as a result?
I don't hear any arguments. I just hear talk of "corporate criminals" and "corporatization" as though a business structure characterized by centralized management and limited liability were but an avatar of Lucifer. Enough already.