An occasion at Harvard University inspired some graduate college students to use for meals stamps, regardless of the college’s $53 billion endowment.
Earlier this yr, Harvard University Health Services reminded graduate college students that they might gasoline their our bodies and fill their pantry through the use of authorities help to pay for groceries.
“Did you know that graduate students may be eligible for help paying for food and groceries?” learn a flyer for the occasion.
Harvard’s endowment makes it the richest college on this planet, a incontrovertible fact that sparked outrage amongst neighborhood members who argued that paying a residing meals allowance to graduate college students would barely be factored into the college’s large finances.
Graduate college students additionally obtain an annual wage of $40,000 from the college.
Harvard University has an endowment of $53.2 billion, making it the richest college on this planet
An occasion organized final yr by the college’s scholar well being heart inspired graduate college students to join meals stamps to pay for groceries
Harvard’s endowment is over $50 billion. Undergraduate tuition is over $55k a yr. But the graduate college students who do a lot of the educating, counseling and mentoring at Harvard are so underpaid that they qualify for meals stamps,” one Harvard scholar wrote on Twitter.
Harvard has about 21,766 graduate college students. If the college sacrificed 1/fiftieth of its $53.2 billion endowment, it may theoretically pay every scholar $48,883 — a rise of practically $9,000 from their present $40,000 allowances.
The Harvard Graduate Student Union has gone on strike to advocate for increased wages — as soon as in 2019 and once more in 2021.
The more moderen strike, which was a three-day work stoppage, principally concerned the union vowing to strike once more if the college didn’t comply with the phrases of the negotiations.
The faculty then compelled the strikers to signal an settlement that allowed Harvard to retain wage funds in an quantity equal to the time college students withheld labor.
One scholar wrote on Twitter on the time, “@Harvard’s $53 billion endowment is larger than the GDP of dozens of countries, but it’s trying to force underpaid student workers to pay back three days’ wages from last week’s strike.”
The present annual wage of a Harvard graduate scholar is arguably not sufficient to stay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the place the median hire is $3,477.
Graduate college students on the University of Michigan, Rutgers and MIT additionally just lately launched comparable protests in opposition to their establishments.
Cambridge graduate college students — the place the median hire is sort of $3,500 — earn $40,000 a yr
Food stamps are designed to assist low-income Americans pay for fundamental groceries
Harvard famously added $10 billion to its endowment throughout one yr of the COVID-19 pandemic. The identical yr, 2021, ended with an working surplus of $283 million.
Food stamps, or what the federal government calls the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is a service supposed for low-income people and households. It helps individuals residing in poverty to afford fundamental meals.
According to Pew Research, greater than 41 million Americans at the moment use meals stamps.