Graduate students call out Congressional Republicans during national #GradWalkOut

Working graduate students took action across the country on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 including staging a walkout at Duke University, to protest the Republican tax bill being considered this week by the U.S. Senate. The tax plan has been criticized for discouraging our nation’s children to pursue their dreams of attending college by eliminating key tax deductions for students, including the interest paid on student loans and the tuition break for graduate students who work as teaching and research assistants. This could be disastrous for many graduate workers who already find it difficult to make ends meet on meager stipends.

Since the release of the GOP tax bill, graduate workers have spoken out on the devastating effects it would have on higher education. In addition to Wednesday’s national #GradWalkOut over 150 graduate workers at Syracuse University were joined by SEIU Local 200United members and other allies for a campus rally. From the University of Maryland to the University of California Davis, students are committed to speaking out against the GOP tax giveaway.

The proposed $1.5 trillion cut would devastate higher education by taxing student loan debt, gutting already inadequate college and university funding by taking away important state and local deductions and count waived graduate student tuition as income. With so many people out of work, underemployed or poorly paid, it’s already hard enough to make it in America without a tax plan that makes it even harder to earn a college degree. Instead of taxing our tuition and student loan debt, Congress should be fighting to make college free so everyone who works hard has the opportunity to continue their studies.

You can see the coverage of graduate student actions from NPR, the Daily Orange and WRAL. Also, check out the #GradWalkOut photos and videos on Twitter.