There is a population on campus that frequently lives below the poverty line. Despite their long hours, graduate students currently go without dental insurance, and many feel they do not hold the same rights as other workers.
In an effort to make graduate work more visible, the University Workers Union is holding a three-day Graduate Worker Grade-In from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in front of Lenoir Dining Hall.
“Without us sitting down and doing work for seven hours when we have midterms or whatever, classes wouldn't run, papers wouldn't get graded,” said Sarah Miles, a second-year history graduate student. “Things wouldn't happen without the amount of labor we put in.”
Miles said graduate students usually receive a stipend of around $15,000 each year. Additionally, graduate students must pay $900 each semester in student fees, which go toward services mostly beneficial to undergraduates, like athletic games or Carolina Union events. University Workers Union is attempting to reduce or end these fees for graduate students, who don’t regularly use the services.
“I don't need to have some lottery that I can go and put in and maybe get tickets to a game or something that I don't really watch anyway,” said Joe Karlik, a third-year physics graduate student. “I need dental care. I need to be able to go to student health during the summer.”