Recently, graduate students at Brown University have been targeted for funding cuts; the newly adopted policy of the Graduate School will not ensure funding for sixth year doctoral students in good standing. We believe that this policy is not only a mistake for students, but also for the university community as a whole. Graduate students serve as proctors, graduate assistants, research assistants, teaching assistants and important resources to our community. They produce arts programming and organize academic events that enrich the university and Providence as a whole. Because of graduate students’ right to fair compensation for everything they contribute to undergraduate education and to the greater community, we support the effort to create a sixth year of guaranteed financial support for all doctoral students in good standing.
A recent petition circulated among the Brown graduate students calling for just that has already gained over 230 signatures, and the undergrads in SLA support those grad students’ declaration that this is “the sort of strategic maneuver that would clearly demonstrate the University’s commitment to its vision and community.” We also recognize the converse as true; the university’s insistence on continuing to impose these types of cuts, even after the endowment has rebounded since the financial crisis, raises concerning questions about the extent to which Brown values those members of its community who enable the university to function.
What can the Brown community do to support graduate students & employees?
1. Sign the undergrad petition online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/undergradforfairgradfunding/
2. Submit a testimonial. Graduate students are looking for short testimonials from students, professors and anyone else who has benefited from their contributions, to make more visible the important role that they play in our community. If you have had an experience with a graduate student that has inspired you, assisted you, and/or enriched your experience at Brown, we ask you to share a few sentences with us. Has a graduate student helped you polish your paper to its finest? Led a great discussion section? Helped you talk with your professor? Organized an event on campus you benefited from attending? Please send brief testimonials about these or other experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate if you would like your testimonial to be anonymous as they may be used in upcoming “Brought to You By A Graduate Student” campaign materials.
3. Stay tuned for future upcoming actions against this newly imposed policy.
Update: Brown Daily Herald coverage of the grad students’ campaign!
Update #2: New Brown Grad Students for Fair Funding blog!