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Bottom For five years, George Washington University’s Graduate Teaching Assistant and Adjunct Alliance has been politely asking the university for better pay and benefits. “We’ve been rebuffed and rejected every step along the way,” says Jonathan White, an assistant professorial lecturer in English. This year, alliance members took a hint from their history books and brethren at Yale, where graduate students went on strike four years ago: They plan to unionize. Last Saturday, they staged a rally on campus, attracting coverage from CNN. University Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Lehman isn’t joining in the chorus of “Solidarity Forever.” “Communication is the key,” he argues. “Protesting before communication seems like an unproductive approach.” White says his group has just begun to communicate: “There will be no peace and quiet about this in this academic year,” he notes.