Universities to Grad Students: Drop Dead

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    • #321465
      • Total Posts: 9,978


      Graduate student workers, who often run labs, assist professors, and even teach their own courses on campus, often receive very low pay, are not guaranteed housing, and do not have benefits such as paid sick leave. As universities enact austerity measures such as increased furloughs and pay decreases as a result of the pandemic, many student workers are nervous that their already tenuous living conditions will be put under even more stress.

      Students across the board used social media as a means to alert the public and the press of the conditions they are protesting. At the University of Indiana, Bloomington, student workers used the hashtag #wheresthemoneyIU on Twitter and Facebook to both communicate with the university itself and alert the public to how the school is treating its labor force in this moment of crisis. “As student workers, we are required to pay about $1,300 every year in mandatory fees to the university to cover things like technology and building maintenance,” Valentina Luketa, a graduate student at Bloomington, told The Nation. “Right now while we’re working from home and can’t even use university resources, we are still expected to pay that fee. Our paychecks are already so low, and the portion we have to pay back to the school is about 10 percent of our wages. We are demanding that these fees be removed.”

      According to the university’s website, room and board plus indirect cost and other fees is more than $21,000, far more than most student worker’s stipends. As an international student, Luketa is responsible for paying an additional fee of $700 to the university. She’s worried that if she loses her job due to the college’s austerity plans, she might suddenly lose her student visa and have to leave the country.

      “We’ve noticed a pattern where schools are quick to furlough or get rid of labor on campus to make sure their revenue is not affected,” Luketa said. “But a lot of these schools have huge endowments, about as big as the GDP of my home country of Croatia in some cases. We’re just asking them to use that money to protect workers and protect the educational experiences of students.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #321487
      • Total Posts: 1,473

      it’s been bad for quite some time. then there’s the school debt situation.

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