Student Assembly Stands united with Graduate Student Employees Union during pandemic
For Immediate Release: February 23, 2021
The Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in support of enhancing the investment made into SUNY’s graduate student workforce. Student leaders from across the system came together over this past weekend to discuss how to address the plight graduate students face across SUNY's campuses. Student Assembly President Brad Hershenson stated that, “Graduate students work many hours tirelessly to support our institutions and the academic instruction offered on our campuses, we must act now to ameliorate this system that financially strains and burdens our colleagues.”
Financial strains have significantly impacted graduate students as they grapple with the consequences of the pandemic. On one University campus alone, over 65% of graduate student survey respondents reported paying more than $750 in fees last semester. This financial stress has been exacerbated by additional deductions owed for summer health care premiums taken directly from graduate student worker paychecks. This semester many graduate students involved in course instruction have indicated that the shortfall in support and investment by our campuses has led to students taking on more debt and has challenged their ability to afford necessities such as groceries and rent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse for students throughout the system. This year the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal indicates increases in tuition over multiple years with shortfalls in support for student services and programs. Support for our student colleagues, especially those involved in public health research, is needed during this critical time.
About the SUNY Student Assembly
The Student Assembly of the State University of New York (SUNY SA) is the recognized student government organization representing the nearly 1.4 million students of the State University of New York. Comprised of student leaders elected by their peers from across SUNY’s 64 campuses, SUNY SA is committed to empowering students throughout the state, and ensuring the representation of its members on the state and national level, as well as throughout the SUNY system.