For the Second Year in a Row, Graduate Students Get Their Way at the MLA

Graduate-student activists at this year's Modern Language Association tasted the thrill of victory -- again.

They demanded proportional representation on the M.L.A.'s top governance panels. They got it. They called for an endorsement of unionization for graduate students. They won it. They wanted to ban the word "apprentice" from descriptions of teaching assistants in the association's official policy statements. They succeeded.

For the second year in a row, the graduate