SOLIDARITY TULANE

Graduate students organizing to improve working conditions.

Testimonials

v

“Health care is an enormous anxiety and worry for me and my family, especially with the instability of insurance premiums and CHIP. My quality of life and ability to serve my students (I am an instructor as well as a graduate student) would improve as a result. Collectively, our campus would be healthier and I believe our academic productivity would also rise. It’s a win-win for the university to live up to its ideals (and peer institutions) and for its graduate students (who are instructors, teaching assistants and so much more) to focus on what is most important to us – meaningful education, community engagement and innovative research.”

v

“Eight years ago when I attended University of Michigan for my master’s, I received a stipend of $26,000/year, fully subsidized healthcare, and gym fees were also waived. It was preposterous to me that Tulane faculty bragged during my interview about having one of the highest stipends for graduate students when it lagged so far behind what I had been offered five years prior at a public university! This is not due to differences in cost of living, either- apartments in Ann Arbor are the same cost if not cheaper than here in New Orleans.”

v

“This is a fundamental necessity for all Tulanians. The graduate student body has a lot to contribute to the overall community and environment of the university. Most graduate students don’t have a secondary source of health care, and are entirely reliant on the university system but struggle to fund their own health care. I have personally known several graduate students who have genuinely feared for their health and have been hit by economic hardship as a result of health issues that anyone could face at any time. This is something that needs to change so that Tulane can become a stronger community and stay competitive with other research institutions.”

v

“We need to invest in making sure our community at Tulane is equitable and open for people to work and study. This is an investment that supersedes new buildings and infrastructure: it is the kind that further enmeshed us within the New Orleans community at large and allows people the opportunity to change their lives for the better–without persistent economic anxiety.”

v

“Especially at a time when the federal government is wavering on its commitment to education in general and higher education in particular (and don’t get me started on health care), please believe that supporting your graduate students this way will improve not only our access to health care, but help us balance budgets, alleviate sources of stress, and empower us to complete our work at the highest level. I have two young children, and lower health care costs would alleviate a significant financial burden and free up more time to complete my work.”

v

“I attended Tulane for undergrad, and I recently left a graduate program in the political science department primarily for reasons related to mental health. I cannot recall the last time I’ve had vision or dental; it seems like it was probably before I turned 26 and was still on my parent’s insurance. I honestly did not know about the difference between Tulane and peer institutions. That’s obscene, and I really, really hope that the admin takes that discrepancy seriously.”

v

“Tulane’s received the largest set of donations in its history, just finished a lavish business school, and operates an actual mansion. Grad students are in large part the reason for this, providing professors with time and assistance to produce world class research. You can afford to pay for their doctors visits.”

v

“The cost of medical insurance offered by Tulane is incredibly high. For someone who depends entirely on stipends, I spend the entire semester worried about how I will pay next semester’s fees. My bank account (which isn’t that full to begin with) is completely emptied every August and every January.”

v

“When I completed my MA in the UK 7 years ago, I was welcomed into the National Health plan, and I burst into tears of joy. I didn’t know how much anxiety I had been carrying with me around health care until that moment. What if Tulane continued to see its graduate student workers as a resource that deserves care and pay?”

v

“It’s difficult for us to pay 50% for my own insurance and then 100% for my spouse’s insurance with the stipend I get from Tulane. I am an international student on F1 visa and my wife is here on F2 visa which restricts her from any paid work, so my stipend is the only household income for us. I can’t say enough how much we need this subsidized health care from Tulane.”

v

“Competitive benefits will attract better students bringing in more money for the school via better research and more funding for the better research.”

v

“If healthcare is a requirement for enrollment, the financial burden should not be on graduate students who already rely on our stipend checks to survive. Tulane benefits too much from our contribution to not cover this basic necessity.”

v

“Dental insurance is just a critical as any other form of medical insurance and should be considered as high a priority as regular health insurance for graduate students.”