Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Mayor Andrew Gillum joined adjunct faculty from across the state on Monday to deliver food to Miami Dade College’s food bank, which serves students and faculty in need. The event included a roundtable discussion where adjuncts highlighted the need for greater investment in Florida’s public colleges and universities, as students and adjuncts struggle with student debt and poverty wages.
Gillum listened and responded to questions and heartfelt accounts by adjuncts who are dedicated to their work and students, but struggle to make ends meet in a system that is rigged against them.
“The sham that we created, to use adjuncts so as not to pay for full-time professors, needs to come to an end,” said Gillum. “Let’s fully fund our colleges and universities to the state that they deserve.”
The defunding of Florida’s universities and colleges has turned higher education – once seen as a gateway to the middle class – into a pipeline to poverty. Floridians struggle with nearly $80 billion in student loan debt, while one in four adjunct professors report being food insecure. Across Florida, adjuncts are fighting for fully-funded tuition-free college, student loan forgiveness, and a minimum of $15 an hour and a union voice for all campus employees.