Time to reverse decision on tuition waivers

The UIUC Undergraduate Graduate Alliance (UGA), a coalition of registered student organizations (RSOs) and allied students, strongly encourage the administrators of the Chemistry Department and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) to reverse their decision to revoke tuition waivers for undergraduate chemistry Teaching Assistants (TAs). The consequences of this decision for TAs are great, especially considering the lack of advance notice that might allow them to plan for the additional financial burden. The deadline to apply for federal funds by filling out the FAFSA forms has already passed, yet TAs still have not recevied formal notification of the waiver loss.

Undergraduate teaching assistants play an important role in the campus community. Having recently completed intro-level chemistry courses, they are well prepared to teach their peers. Undergraduates are responsible for the same work-load as their graduate student co-workers, and deserve to receive the same tuition waiver that graduate employees receive. Rescinding tuition waivers for undergraduate TAs is yet another step in the administration’s march toward a corporatized university that prefers exploitative, low-paying hourly labor. We hope you will stand with us in opposition.

Miriam Larson,

graduate student