Students across the nation are uniting on Wednesday, November 29th at 1:00 EST to stand against this bill that would devastate graduate students across the country, both current students and potential graduate students in the future. No matter your political ideologies, you should recognize that this tax reform bill will change the opportunities for graduate education in our future. The proposed bill will force many graduate students to drop out of their degree programs and will dissuade prospective students from pursuing advanced degrees. It will decimate higher education in the U.S. Since education and innovation fuel economic growth, and hardworking graduate students form the bedrock of higher education and innovation in the U.S., this bill will ironically hurt the economy in the long run.
Clemson University has now joined the growing list of institutions that will have an event. We will meet on Library Bridge at 1:00 pm and march to the steps of Sikes Hall in protest of the proposed tax policy, uniting with graduate students across the U.S. and providing a platform to call on senators to oppose this plan. At Sikes Hall, we organizers will speak briefly, then allow time for open discussion until 2:00 pm. Further, we propose that graduate students who cannot or do not want to leave their classes/labs and any supportive members of the Clemson community put in calls and/or write to their senators, or to instead post photos on our Facebook page holding signs stating the impacts of their work done under tuition waivers.
Our goal in staging this walkout/rally is to show how it affects universities when there are not enough graduate students to teach classes, hold office hours, help struggling students, and work in labs to conduct important research. We do not seek to neglect our jobs or disrupt the university’s essential functions. We appreciate the people we work for, the issues we research, and the students we teach. But a walkout sends an important and clear message that we will not stand by while higher education is placed at risk. We are not opposing our faculty and administrators, and we have contacted them to gain their support.