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No Student Left Behind: Statement on Graduate Funding

Tex for Liaison(Originally Written on April 14th, 2008)
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When Provost Rosenbaum held his student forum in March, he stated that “This is the first time in the history of the University of Chicago that we’re thinking systematically about graduate aid with your [the student’s] input.”

It is not hard to understand the disconnect and neglect that many graduate students have felt during this whole, funding process. From graduate students being disappointed that the previous year’s provisions had been put forth with little input from them to the consequential disjunction from ill-trust after the graduate funding miscalculation, the student’s voice must be duly weighed, considered, and respected. It is worthy to see administrators recognizing their past solecism; change must come now.

The graduate student deserves utmost respect from the administration as he or she should be more concerned with their ground-breaking research and time-consuming studies instead of how many budget cuts to make this month. Regardless how much we “need to prevent gargoyles from falling down”, the students who matriculated before 2007-2008 do not exist in a special, financial bubble; the academic obligations along with their financial burdens bear equity for all graduate students, and therefore, financial considerations and provisions should be appropriated across the board…to every deserving student. I understand that our university and its departments often seclude themselves in their bureaucratic fiefdoms and departments; yet, maybe some executive endowment to enable educational efficacy might be a sound step in centralized administration.

Finally, there exists an exigency to reconsider the current pay to our TAs. A $5000 discrepancy per quarter compared to Standford’s allotment? Seriously? A little change is in store and due communication with the student workers themselves.

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