The hunger strike on Yale University’s campus has hit the two-week mark.
The protest has gained national attention but it’s unclear if it’s been effective because neither side appears ready to give in.
Protestors continue to demonstrate under a tent just steps away from Yale President Peter Salovey's office.
Four graduate students have gone further, declining to eat for nearly two full weeks.
“Thirteen days in of course it's not getting any easier at this point,” said protestor Charles Decker, who admits going on the hunger strike has been physically and mentally exhausting.
The most difficult part may have been explaining the situation to his mom.
“She's, of course, worried about me. She's worried about the health stuff. She was very comforted by actually coming up here seeing the medical supervision that we have,” Decker said.
Nurses have been monitoring the protestors from the beginning and forced four fasters to quit because of possible long-term health risks. They were replaced by other demonstrators who were willing to step in.
“The disappointment and shock really that this has gone on for 13 days,” Decker said.
The protestors are graduate students from eight academic departments who voted to unionize. The demonstrators say Yale President Salovey refuses to sit down and negotiate with them.
But Salovey said the university is not stalling and that he's declining to open negotiations because there are still appeals headed to the national Labor Relations Board over the issue.
Protestors remain unconvinced and said for the foreseeable future, Salovey better get used to seeing hungry protestors demonstrating outside his door.
“There's an extremely easy way for him to look out for our health and end the fast and we would all be extremely happy to share a meal with him over the negotiating table,” Decker said.
The fasters say there is a lot of misinformation out there about what they have been consuming during the fast.
They insist they are only drinking water and not eating anything.
President Salovey has urged protestors to end the hunger strike, but there is no resolution in site.
According to experts, there are several scary potential long-term health risks associated with extended hunger strikes including potential vision and hearing loss, along with organ failure. Death is also possible.
But again, the fasters are being monitored by nurses and will stop and be replaced if their health is in jeopardy.
Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.