'U' Grad Students Protest GOP Tax Reform Plan


Thousands of USC graduate students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the proposed GOP tax reform bill that's being discussed in the U.S. Senate.

This is the particular provision we are most concerned about. He remains hopeful that the growing social media campaigns #SaveGradEd and #GradTaxWalkout coupled with today's demonstrations will influence the Senate to keep the tuition provision out of the final tax bill.

Gemma Cooper-Novack is a graduate teaching and research assistant at SU.

With Katie Gach's 1-year-old daughter cooing in the background, the University of Colorado Ph.D. student tried to calculate Tuesday morning how much income she would lose if a proposed Republican tax plan overhaul passed in Congress.

Attendees were urged to contact their elected representatives, especially U.S. Sens. They are part of the package of pursuing graduate education and an essential reason why anyone can afford graduate school at all.

These messages included "The "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" COSTS ME $4,426" and "This act will threaten America's leadership in STEM". Investing in education is investing in the future, and the government and institutions should work collectively to solve the financial crisis that prospective students, current students and graduates face. It is simply not feasible to cover daily expenses, support a family and plan for retirement with only $35,000 a year, which was the median income of high school graduates in 2014.

Graduate student Toryn Rogers is anxious that with the bill he won't be able to afford to live if his tuition wavier is taxed.

Earlier this month, the American Council on Education, on behalf of the Association of American Universities, of which IU is a member, and 45 other higher education associations, sent a letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee expressing strong opposition to several harmful provisions in the House legislation.

"You are going from a situation where these people are recognized as being below the poverty line", Gardner said, "and putting them in a way where they're being taxed 10 or even 15 percent".

"[Graduate students] are already in a precarious position in the in-between state of worker and student", Marquez said.

Protesters repeated chants like "no tuition, without remission" and "if we don't get it, shut it down" among others throughout the event. I'm never responsible for it, and I never see any of the money that I'll supposedly be taxed on. It's enough to get by, but saving is still a struggle, even with the university waiving about $12,000 of his tuition costs.

A student at Harvard University told NPR that he already tries to save money by living in an attic, and a student at the University of Maryland told the public radio station that she has had to take out loans to cover things like rent and utilities.

"Congress gave our research enterprise a strong vote of confidence this year with increased funding for agencies like the National Institutes of Health, but that funding relies on universities and graduate students to carry out those grants", UNC System President Margaret Spellings said in a statement.

House Republicans, meanwhile, have argued that tuition reimbursements benefit only a small number of Americans and that taxing them would allow for cuts that would have broader benefits. I could wind up with $11,014 - more than a third of my actual take-home pay - going to taxes. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) said this month during a debate concerning education, the Washington Post.

Although at Yale University, we actually bring in incomes around $30,000 per year, we'd be taxed like people who make $70,000.

"We are striving to enhance quality and diversity in all its dimensions, including socioeconomic diversity", Wrighton said during the presentation. Adding it all up, they said the "bill heads in the wrong direction". They have also sought scholarships and for the university to provide facilities such as transport and housing to students. The students also called on Duke to continue lobbying against the bill and to abolish tuition for graduate students entirely.

President Amy Gutmann, Provost Wendell Pritchett, and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli released a statement on November 9 calling the tax plan "regressive" and asked students to express their opinions on social media and to elected officials in the House of Representatives and the Senate.